Vespa Tunes X: I Giardini di Marzo, Lucio Battisti,
The first time I heard this song it was a cover played by the house band at a place called The Place on via Alberico II by the Castel Sant’Angelo. It was perhaps 2002, the year after I’d met Massimo, and we had a table at the bar with a group of friends. The place was full and literally everyone sang along except me because, unbeknownst to me at the time, all Italians of all ages are born knowing the words to Lucio Battisti’s songs.
I clearly needed to rectify my cultural lacuna and so I went to the Discoteca Laziale (which is incidentally still going strong despite Spotify, if you like buying proper records go!) and bought Battisti’s greatest hits. I studied the lyrics until I was word perfect and next time the occasion presented itself joined in with everyone else, because singing along with a crowd is a joyous feeling. And so every year in spring it comes to mind and I sing it on my Vespa in these changeable March days—the last week has gone from blazing sunshine to grey gloom—as the blossom appears.
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