Today, May 1st, is the National Holiday Known as La Festa dei Lavoratori or Festa del Lavoro, Labor Day! Labor day is a day where Italians celebrate the worker and the unions for bringing rights to the workers; essentially its a celebration in honor of workers achievements in fighting for their rights!
Unlike in the United States where it is only one day off from school and maybe from work, here in Rome there is a huge free concert that thousands of people attend every year! This year, the concert took place in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano about 20 yards from the main door of the Basilica St. John Lateran. The concert lasted mostly all day long from 3pm till midnight and included several Italian artists from all major genres of music such as: Rock, Pop, Hip Hop and Jazz. Besides the long and diverse line up of artists, there were also several Italian movie stars and television personalities in attendance.
When I first stepped off the bus approximately 7 blocks away from where the concert was being held I could instantly feel the excitement in the air as I saw the large groups of people walking in the same direction. 2 blocks from the stage all streets were closed off to vehicles and trains by the police as they did a quick check of everyone to make sure they did not have any contraband. As I walked closer I could start to feel the hairs on my arms stand up from feeling the vibrations of the bass. Moments later I was finally in the center of the crowd, only to look up and see the opening act pay tribute to Prince by doing a cover of his song Purple Rain.
All in all, the concert was beyond enjoyable! I might have not attended Coachella for spring break, but at least I experienced Labor Day in way that no one in the United States did.