It sort of kills me to see this, as I never got my book written. I'm keenly interested in piazzas and piazza life. I went to Italy in 1999 on a 13 city effort to get photos of certain piazzas that I'd either not photo'd before, or not gotten good photos, and Ivrea was one of the places, albeit at the tail end of my trip when I was tired. I had in my mind's eye, as they say, a two page spread I'd seen in Bell'Italia of a piazza in Ivrea entirely blanketed in previously hurled oranges...
Here's an article in today's NYTimes -
No, I didn't go there mid orange crush; I went instead in April. I landed at the train station and the Information place was closed, so I walked, and walked and walked, and over quite a bit of time and footage didn't see any place to stay.
This was pre my connection to the internet; I presume access is better now.
I ended up staying in some business hotel, the only hotel I saw, and perhaps the only business hotel I've stayed at in my years of life.
I was tired, it was my 20th day, or so, of 29 in 13 cities; I photo'd the piazzas I knew were involved in the orange fooforah, and left, seeing a city challenged by graffiti, myself being rather depressed.
I have two slight connections to Ivrea, but didn't act on them. In one case, I know a film editor with old family there but he had no data at hand before I left California, and, a long ago exchange student who had lived at my cousins' in the late 50's didn't live in Ivrea but owned a bookshop in the town. So, it happened that I walked by that bookshop in my search for any lodging.
I remembered that my cousins went to a wedding with that family not that long ago, their one trip abroad, and were entirely sucked into that family's life. (I'm sure there is much good and aggravating about that from both points of view). But... I didn't go in the bookstore in self defense. I didn't have time to deal with that, even if I could connect with the family, much as I would love to see them if I'd have had hours.
Ivrea itself annoyed me, cold and unhelpful when I inquired in any way, and I was not, after that, so open to whatever charms it has. But I'm still interested in the orange tossing.
I've had this concept in mind for years now... that if Los Angeles gangs had a city wide orange hurl, southern California being home for many orange groves for decades, that perhaps the proto crips, bloods, and V13 could reconcile in the non orange hurling months. A little late now, of course. But I do remember an article about Siena, home of the Palio run by horses representing 10 of seventeen neighborhoods - written in the late eighties - that they hadn't had a murder in a lot of years, say, thirty, at the time of the article. I've a link for that if anyone wants.
I think we have a lot to learn from the orchestrated fantasias in Italy, horse races like the Palio, jousting, or citrus pelleting, events that happen on their squares, of whatever shape.
Italy does have horrendo problems; still, I remain interested in the dealings.. the Palio, the orange hurling, the soccer. Much may be similar in some other countries.; that interests me too.