Benvenuti to the 2017 Adunata Nazionale Alpini – the 2017 National Alpini Gathering

Just over a week ago, this HUGE national event wrapped up here in Treviso. It left me eager to join in the shouts of “Viva gli Alpini!” Each year, this massive gathering and celebration is held in a different city (next year it will be in Trento). I was forewarned that Treviso would be overrun with people. I laughed it off saying to myself, “Yeah, they’re just exaggerating.” Boy, was I wrong. In the video below, I actually understate the actual number of people. Silly me.

Around 500,000 people came to Treviso to celebrate

Yep! That’s a lot of people, especially for a city of 80,000 residents, more or less. So, you can imagine how this event can bring a city like Treviso to a standstill. A sizable circumference around the city center was blocked off to normal traffic. Many roads had barricades and polizia checking to make sure only residents were attempting to pass.

Then, there were the tents, everywhere

It seemed as though every parking lot, every empty lot of field, was occupied with tents and temporary structures. Just a stones through from our house (and outside our privacy gate), the parking lot of chock full. They set up quickly, had the beer and wine flowing quickly, and the portable stoves and rotisseries going. And, starting the first night, and not ending until sometime Sunday night, we heard singing and loud, happy voices. I had to wear earplugs. Even though it challenged my sleep, I closed my eyes and smiled. This is one happy event.

The Alpini is the oldest, active mountain infantry in the world

Founded in 1872 to protect Italy’s norther borders, the Alpini have played significant roles in the two World Wars. Though pared back today, they still have two active brigades.

The breadth of faces at this event tells the real story

If you’ve been following my photography posts, you’ll know I have a penchant for faces etched with history, and full of character, So, I close this week’s post with a gallery of some of my favorite faces from the event. I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief glimpse of a big Italian celebration. Viva gli Alpini!