Strolling along Calle di Boteri, we passed cafes and trattoria where people sat staring at TV screens set up outside.
It was the big game. Italy was playing Germany in the European Championships. As we strolled past, shouts arose at exciting plays on screen.
We wound through tiny calles and sotoportegia, and everywhere we went, we could hear the announcer's voice amplified from unseen speakers, echoing off the ancient brick and stone.
As it got darker and darker and the moon arose, all you could hear all around was the sound of the television.
Everyone was watching the game.
We found ourselves in an open space - the Campo di San Aponal. Across from the church was a pizzeria, crowded with people facing multiple screens.
We asked for a table, and found ourselves right in front of the screen. We ordered a carafe of house white wine, a pizza margherita to share, and then like everyone around us - we watched the game.
Families sat together, watching the game.
Passersby stopped, sat on the well-head in the campo, and watched the game.
When a close play happened, shouts arose. Waiters rushed from the kitchen to watch the replay, and shouted again at the exact same moment.
The owner of the restaurant came out to watch, and when Italy finally prevailed, he held aloft a trophy and bore it triumphantly among the tables. He shook hands with all the customers.
The tension released through victory, we cheered and congratulated our tablemates. What a victory! We met April, from Chapel Hill, NC, and a young Nigerian man who now lives in San Diego. We finished our drinks and exchanged email addresses.
Then it was all over. The crowds fell away. Chairs and tables were stacked and put away. People wandered back through the campo. We found our way home to the Calle di Boteri.
Italy advances to the finals!