Monday, February 9, 2009

Perugia observes the World. The World observes Perugia

The semester here begins with an orientation meeting in the beautiful, Sala de Notari, in the Palazzo dei Priori. As we departed the session we were greeted by a raucous but non violent protest demonstration for peace in Palestine. (Our American students are always surprised to find the incredible ethnic and racial diversity and the relative absence of spoken English here.) Many of the marchers carried the now familiar rainbow “PACE” flags, one or two Italian flags, and many flags of Palestine. The signs and chants were not so much for peace, but against the US and Israel. I’ve inserted a little movie just to give you an idea of what we saw.

The rest of the world usually pays little attention to Perugia, but over the last year or so, a lot of negative publicity has been generated by “il delitto de Perugia” the awful murder of an English student at the Stranieri for which 3 young people, a young female student from Seattle, her Italian regazzo from Puglia, and an African immigrant, are now on trial. You can tell when court is in session by the panoply of satellite dish trucks filling the via Baglione outside the Perugian courthouse. I’ve pasted a picture of this scene as well. Here an anchor guy is trying to figure out what to say. The Italian and English media cover the smallest detail, even what Beatle song Amanda sings and plays on her guitar. (You can imagine this one yourself -- I don't think I want to go there.) Speaking of "going there" 0ur friend Laura, an Italian lawyer, had offered to get us into the trial -- they have an English translator -- but we were scheduled to go to Assisi that day. The choices don't get much more dissimilar than that!

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