Students took a much-needed break from homework Saturday, Sept. 7 to attend the Festa d’Italia in the Piazza dei Santi and enjoy Italian culture, free food and good company.
Before students even reached the Piazza, they could feel the welcoming Italian atmosphere. Festive lights and banners hung from tree to tree, inviting students to stay and socialize long after the sun went down.
The air buzzed with conversation and music as people quickly filled the courtyard to line up for food. Italian fare, such as pasta, cheese, olives and bread, was available on tables for the attending students to enjoy.
Desserts abounded as well, including assorted cookies and chocolates. The real crowd-pleaser, however, was the free gelato stand set up in the middle of the piazza, accruing an ever-growing line of salivating anticipators. The line began at the stand in the center of the Piazza and spiraled out, wrapping around the edge of the courtyard in a large, excited mass of students.
Even as students filled the tables and sprawled out on the grass to enjoy the food, a live band encouraged people out of their seats and onto the dance floor. The band performed both Italian tunes and more familiar songs, its repertoire ranging from Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”
Before venturing out to the Festa d’Italia, freshman Dina Patryn was missing the annual Greek festival back home in Massachusetts. She enjoyed the campus festival a lot and found it to be “very similar to the festival at home, even though it was Italian.”
Mary Dillon, a junior, also enjoyed the party. “I love when they have different food from the caf,” she said, also appreciating the table decorations and festive music as a nice touch to the night.
“I think it was a good opportunity for students all over campus to come together,” said Dillon.
The Festa d’Italia was hosted by Exc!te.