Last weekend the city of Bergamo hosted the annual gathering of the Alpini, the Italian Army Corps funded in 1872 – where I served for a year myself during my military service – and saw for 3 days an invasion of about 500.000 people from Italy and abroad parading and singing in the streets.
Alpini derived their name from “Alpi” (the Alps, where they are mostly based) and have a very strong sense of belonging – particularly among the more elders – for many reasons such as the pleasure of remembrance for “the early days”, the financial and social commitment to devastated communities, the companionship established during strenuous physical and psychological experiences, the stunning sceneries amongst which they have served and for being "drinking water abhorrers". The latest due to a peculiar attraction to wine, grappa and the typical singing sessions that always follow a few cheers.
I loved seeing my home town, normally laborious and conservative which also hosts some of the most troublesome football hooligans in Italy, being filled with half a million people of all ages having a great time, together, peacefully.
Here are some images I took while wandering around when not busy holding a cup myself.