by Lena Marchese (Loyola College)
LAST NIGHT IN THE PIAZZA I witnessed a graduation party for a "dottore." Whether or not he is really a doctor I'm still not sure, because apparently anyone who graduates is called "dottore." Anyway, there was a big party at Mimi's for him-- I believe his name was Alessandro-- with food and drink and just lots and lots of people. As the night progressed, the "dottore" was thrown into the fountain and water guns filled with beer and water were thrown into the mix. I thought it was just another group of young people looking for an excuse to get drunk and party.

I later on in the night talked to Giovanni and Dave and they told me they had recently been to Urbino and witnessed the same thing. Even later on in the night, when talking to Dr. Caputo, he explained to me that at graduating ceremonies everyone wears wreaths of flowers around their head instead of a graduation cap and all get “razzed” when they have to run through a line of their friends after they graduate. On the outside, it all seems very similar to an American graduation, but I thought I saw more.

All of these kids were out in the piazza. The bar opened up and made a party for them. A bar that has been in business since 1875. Everyone was there. Even people who didn’t stay for the whole night were stopping by to say hi. Even when I went over with a couple of the American girls and Fabrizzio, the “dottore” came over and thanked each and every single one of us for coming. But for such a more formal society, no one seemed to bat an eyelash at this big party in the piazza with people being drunk and rowdy. People just accepted, even encouraged, this kind of behavior
in the piazza.

To me, this seemed like a huge display of the kind of close knit community that is here in Cagli. I came from a small town as well, where you see the same faces everyday and everyone knows everyone else and knows your business. But I am absolutely positive that if I was out in the street having a rowdy party, people would call the cops on me. People from my culture would not understand that for a younger person, graduating is a huge step for us. It is years and years of work that is finally being recognized and is finally completed and you feel proud. The Cagliese recognize that.

To me that shows even more the sense of family that the whole town has. It seems to me that the pride of being Italian unites all of the community.