Friday, June 11, 2010
A Snag in the Joy
Local tradition dictates that on the last day of school, this year June 9, the students jump in the fountain in Prato della Valle. This year was no exception. Teenagers started to play in the water in Padua's most famous and one of Europe's largest squares. In fact, the fountain is located at the center of Isola Memmia within the square, as they call it.
However this year the medics had to come on the scene and help some injured people. In all of the joy of the event, things got rough when the city decided to send in the police to drain the water while the students were in the fountain. The students didn't want to stop the party. In the end a few got thrown onto the solid marble, probably by overly enthusiastic friends, and 3 ended up even in the hospital with serious injuries.
Now, 2 days later, the fountain is still not running, despite plenty of Padana heat. It is surrounded by temporary barriers.
Honestly, I blame the administration for trying to squelch the fun. Let's let kids be physically excited about the end of school, please! It's like we are afraid of anything out of the normal day-to-day routine of life. Let's live a little more people, or rather, popolo (as a certain political party would say here).
The above picture of the running fountain was found on Internet, and obviously comes from the winter season, since the trees still don't have leaves. (Piero Tasso, January 2006, Creative Commons)
Italian TGPadova article here.