The downtown life of Pontedera is everything.
On weekends, crowds of local Pontederians bustle in this part of the town to drink, dance, shop, eat and make out with their partners. You’ll hear loud music blasting out in both English and Italian from several cafes – loud enough for your soul to start dancing.
You can reach the downtown from the riverside. Just cross under the train bridge to the other side and walk a short distance until you reach the famous bridge of Pontedera.
Climb up the stairs and head over to the roadside. You’ve reached the downtown.
You’ll see teenage girls dressed in cute summer outfits while their hair’s dyed to a shade of dark purple or blue; their admirable defiance clearly visible in their gait. They walk in groups with their friends, most of them holding hands with their boyfriends that are equally charming. Sometimes they’ll stop midway for a short kiss.
These teens are an important part of Pontedera because their opposition to “blending in”, gives the town an exciting touch of sassiness and badassery. This “rebellion” was also alive in the paintings and writings, seen all over Pontedera.
However, it is not only the youth that inspire liveliness in the town. I’ve never seen the elderly spread such happy vibes before, just by their mere presence.Sitting on the benches along with their grand kids, these adorable grand parents can be seen devouring their cone and cup gelatos while keeping watch of those pesky kids.
The grand mothers are dressed in their cute knee length dresses that match their bracelets and earrings, while their graying hair cut short. The grandfathers sit close to their spouses on the bench and together they watch their grand kid, in deep admiration, whizzing around.
They represent a much older version of the teenagers that significantly stand out from the rest of the crowd. While their grey hair reminds you of the passage of time and wisdom gained, their evident playfulness will fill you with the awareness of now. Just like the youth, they too add a touch of sass into the town.
Pontedera is of course incomplete without those perfect couples that make out in corners and even in the middle of the street. If it weren’t for Pizza all around town, being single would have been a nightmare.
Pontederians love to dress fashionably, which explains the diversity of the designer and cosmetic shops present across downtown. Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss the crazy sales that start from July 1st. Summer is also the time when several events will attract people from the other towns and cities.
One such event that was held, in the beginning of July, was the “Notte Bianca” which literally means “White night”. Several stages were set up all over the downtown where musicians and singers performed, starting from the evening and stretching all the way to midnight.
You can get a glimpse of it here.
Drinks including but not limited to sangria, cocktails and beer were sold by people dressed in hawaiian costumes. Several dessert stalls were set up by the local cafes, selling pastries with cream and chocolate filling. The Pizzerias had their own stalls that offered huge slices of cheesy and tomato filled pizzas.
Men and women played brass instruments on the streets while couples and friends danced in the midst of it. That night, as I danced around with the rest of the crowd and enjoyed my chocolate pastry, I stopped holding onto my past or worrying about my future and for the first time, decided to live in the present.