BY: MELISSA MOLANO
The night of Friday, September 8 was filled with laughter, dancing, and great food thanks to the Student Life’s annual Festa D’Italia (Italian Festival).
The event is traditionally held in the Piazza dei Santi, but given the unpredictability in the weather as of late, the event was instead held in the tents behind Finnegan Fieldhouse.
The annual event was held at 7 pm and before the tents had even opened, there was already a massive line stretching down to the Fieldhouse which continued for the majority of the evening.
The long line appeared to be worth the wait. Students seemed to truly enjoy the energetic and vibrant atmosphere created inside. The tent was adorned accordingly, with strings of pennants in the colors of the Italian flag. There was also a cardboard Mona Lisa cutout that many attendees took advantage of photographing one another in.
The evening included ongoing entertainment in the form of some traditional Italian (and some not so traditional) music, all performed by a live band with seemingly endless energy. The majority of students ate and immediately ventured over to makeshift dance floor. The band performed a solid set of danceable pieces, from Irish jigs to traditional Italian dances, to classic songs such as Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” When the jig was played, people danced around in two large circles, kicking, laughing and clumsily pulling one another along.
There was no shortage of Italian food, including rich assorted desserts. Although there was a second lengthy line for the gelato for sale within the tent, many students stuck it out, craving the sweet Italian confection, as well as the snow cones that were also available.
“The music was great, the gelato was a dollar- what more could you ask for?” said Laura Pena. The food was a highlight for many students, who commented on the authenticity of the Italian food provided, stating that it really captured the theme of the evening.
“The food was very good, and the dancing was a lot of fun; the cannoli’s were the best!” said Kelly Limina.
Many returning students also attended the festival, emphasizing that it was always a good time, and they had been looking forward to attending again this year. While many view the event as a great way to socialize and enjoy delicious free food, some students also took note of and wanted to bring to light the cultural aspects brought about by the event and its theme.
“Franciscan does a good job of covering different cultures all throughout the year; we have this festival in the fall, and the Irishfest celebration later in the spring,” said Zach Ockunzzi. “I think it’s a great way of highlighting cultures who are so historically Catholic.”
The Italian culture was certainly celebrated in all its facets at the festival over the course of the evening, and it was yet again success.