Going to Italy is always a major culture shock for me. People are so friendly and helpful I can’t believe it. As soon as I get the idea of traveling, someone is already emailing me maps, timetables and even addresses for suitable restaurants. If Italians are not keen on the idea of foreigners coming to their gigs they don’t let me feel it, because it’s just against their nature, they seem to be proud of their generosity and hospitality.
When I’m finally in Italy, someone will tell me where to go, translate everything important and even bring me some water before I have time to realize how badly I actually need it. People take care of each other, share and communicate. In Finland old people can die on a street in the middle of the day and no one takes a notice. Sometimes I feel Finnish people take a contact with their neighbors only to check the value of their house, car or television in order to feel superiority or jealousy (and how sick is that). I’m exaggerating of course, but there are some clear cultural differences.
I always enjoy being in Italy and I think Mika enjoys being in Italy too, at least all the Italian gigs I’ve seen so far have been more than successful. My trip to Italian summer festivals in Rome and Udine last July was beyond amazing, not least because of our very special bus trip across Italian countryside. The venue in Udine was one the most beautiful venues I’ve seen. Mika loves using extraordinary venues (churches, old theaters, castles, sea side areas…) and it often makes his concerts even more special.
I linked below Kick Ass and Blame It on The Girls from Rock in Roma and Blue Eyes from Udine, so it’s easy to see two different stage settings he used during the Festival Tour (must be easier with two of them, one in use and another one on it’s way to the next destination), he had a setting with trees and another one with flowers and simple letters M-I-K-A. He is awesome, isn’t he? Bello bellissimo grazieeeee!!!!! That’s all my Italian.