Festival of Lanterns and First Day of School

So here’s the rest of my apartment if you would like to see.

Last night I went to the Festa della Rificolona (Festival of Lanterns).  Basically, farmers used to come in from the country to the market in the Piazza to sell their produce for the Annual Fall Market.  In order to get the best spots, they would leave the night before and carry paper lanterns on sticks.  They also wore their best suits as they marched into the city.  The city folk would make fun of their attempts to dress nice like them (poorly dressed people are referred to as rificolona) and the kids would make their own lanterns of colored paper and run around the farmers as they marched into the city.  They would also throw rocks at the lanterns to try and make the candle fall.  Apparently, the farmers made a good amount of money at the annual market to put up with this.

Last night, Ashley and I got there early.  We didn’t exactly know what time it was supposed to start but they had booths set up to sell balloons and candy.  They had a chip we tried that tasted normal but had the aftertaste of black licorice.  It tasted good but I think it’s because I am craving sugar (that’s the first thing to go when you’re on a budget!)  Finally, the processional came.

The bright lights are the food vendors…they even had the red and white stripes…
Please also note the Sponge Bob balloon in the left part of the picture…Good ol America
They had marched through the streets with two marching bands in front except the ages ranged from 30s to 50s so it wasn’t your typical marching band.  They were led around the square as they played.  Even though it was like 10 at night all the little kids were there and families.  I would have been asleep if I was that little!
This was my favorite lantern but they had all kinds…chickens, ducks, circles, triangles…

The funniest thing I have to admit is after the band marched around the square.  Hilarious isn’t it??  Ok that’s not the funny part.  This is.  They are on stage but you can’t see them because I’m standing off the stage but listen to the chorus as you watch this video!
So at a TRADITIONAL Italian Festival…they play I Feel Good?!?!
We definitely didn’t see that one coming…
I had my first classes today.  First, I had fashion photography from 9-2:30 with Michele Pero who is aMAZing.  He is hilarious.  First of all, he has a thick Italian accent which is cool except you really have to pay attention but that’s besides the point.  He really knows like the background and history of photography which is really cool cause when I took Art History it was as a gen ed class meaning the teacher taught as little as possible because no one really cared.  He has quite a resume too working with different magazines and doing weddings as well as other personal business photography.  Here’s a link to his website if you would like to see some of his pictures.   http://www.michelepero.it
Oh and I also had travel photojournalism today.  This guy was pretty funny too.  His English wasn’t as good but still it was really good.  He kept saying I don’t know if I’ll be able to teach the class because I don’t know enough English but we were all like we can understand everything you say.  So hopefully he will get to teach it.  Plus he let us out 3 hours early!  But class usually goes from 3-8:30.
So far, classes have gone really well and I am really excited to start them and the two professors I had today are like full-time photographers and teach on the side and are like way over qualified so I feel like if I can take advantage of their expertise I can catch up to other photographers my age.  If the rest of my classes go as well as today, which I’m sure they will because I have Michele for my other two photography classes, I will be I don’t even know how to describe it.  All I know is that I know this is where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life and if I didn’t come I would definitely have regretted this.  The only class that could be excruciatingly hard is my Italian class which is taught in all Italian and the book (including explanations and directions) is in Italian.  But I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.
Oh and can I add that I only got lost once going to school and once coming back?  I’m improving!!

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