Much to my classmates’ delight, our stay in Florence runs synchronously to the taping of Jersey Shore: Season 4, in the ‘Flor (excuse my corniness, I just couldn’t help it), and we’ve happened to run into the infamous troublemakers on a couple of occasions.
Out of all 18 or so of us students on this trip, I am probably the least familiar with the Jersey Shore cast and the specifics of their antics. All I can tell you is that they’ve risen to fame and fortune by mindlessly regarding their livers and divulging their sexual escapades for the world to see.
Not that I don’t enjoy my share of senseless TV that MTV and VH1 have become so famous for; my assorted taste in television does include 1 or 2 (or 3 or 4) not-so-educational reality shows. Jersey Shore just isn’t one of those programs. I couldn’t even identify each cast member by name.
Of course I know Snooki, everybody knows Snooki. But after that, it’s all just a jumble of Sammi, J-Wow(w?), Mike, Pauly D, “The Situation” (No, I do not know which one this moniker belongs to), and that new girl. Oh! Vinny and Ronny just popped in my head (but maybe it’s because I’m writing this post over a year after the fact). I know there are people out there wondering how I could be so clueless to the Shore, being a college student so immersed in today’s culture? *Shrugs.* I’ve never cared too much, or maybe deep down I’m a tad bit jealous that I have to work so hard and endure four long years of undergrad to come up in this world, while these fun-loving 20-something-year-olds practically get money thrown at them for acting a fool on TV.
Welp, that’s America for you.
I heard that Italy wasn’t too welcoming of these imitation-Italians and that it took quite a bit of doings to get Florence to agree to hosting this season’s production. This is far from a surprise. Florence, as is much of its country, is characterized by tradition, art, beauty, and authenticity. Although these individuals who like to claim their Italian roots might be idols to the masses in the US, they just don’t seem to fit into the harmonious berth that is Firenze.
Pizza O’Vesuvio employed the cast during filming, and it’s where you can go if you want a pizza made by Snooki or her lovely counterparts. Mmmmm… sounds appetizing. Not that I was looking, but the pizzeria was quite easy to find as it’s right off of Florence’s main plaza. As I walked past, I snapped a few pictures for the hell of it. Outside, there were production guys, photographers, and hey! even Pauly D, or Mikey, or Ronny. One of those guys, greeting locals and tourists as they walked by.
I wasn’t too interested in seeing much more than that, but some of my classmates went in to enjoy a pizza, which entailed first reading the “Important notice: TV program ‘Jersey Shore’ Filming” sign and autographing a release form in case MTV decides you make the cut and put you on TV.
I never enjoyed a Snooki-pie, but later on that night we found ourselves partying it up with these Shorers!
For our first time heading out in Florence, we walked a long several blocks from our hotel to Club Twenty-One. At home, I party in heels. Not quite the case in Italy, where the club scene is much more casual. There was no way I was walking down anyone’s cobble-stoned streets in heels, anyway.
Also, nightclubs in the States usually involve some waiting outside (in lines, or simply waiting for the guy who gets you in without waiting in lines), ID checks, and brief pat downs. When we got to Twenty-One, though, we walked straight in without the slightest delay. But lo and behold, another “Important Notice” sign that warned us of the possibility of being on TV and told us that tonight, we’d be partying Jersey Store style.
Twenty-One was packed and poppin.’ Music blasting, endless dancing, just how I like it! We made our way to an unclaimed VIP section and started cavorting on couches to American pop and techno music without a care in the world. Tamika and I are hip hop people when we party, so when the DJ spun a set of 90s-early 2000s rap and R&B hits — the club was OURS.
Shortly after we had arrived, in came the Shorers, surrounded by at least 10 production crew guys hoisting huge cameras and bright lights that illuminated every move the “stars” made. That’s when it turned crazy! 90% of the girls in the crowd, and even some guys too, turned into sheep and literally flocked the entire cast. I had never seen such unwarranted obsession, and I couldn’t believe the lengths some of these girls would go just to whisper in Pauly D’s ear or grind on The Situation.
Meanwhile, Tamika and I continued to party away from the crowd of groupies with a few
of our classmate-friends while we observed the hilarious Jersey Shore madness. I got some pretty good photos, too. If you’re a fan, have fun picking out the faces!
All in all, it was a GREAT night. I had so much fun, and I can cross partying in Italy off of my bucket list!