I completed the people watching activity a little after 6:00 pm on Friday October 4th. As many people leisurely do, I sat on the steps and watched the fountain and the people around it. Within the five minutes I was observing, I watched three main groups:
- The first group I watched was a family playing around the fountain. There was a mom with a dog, a grandma (I’m assuming) with a stroller, and three children. The children ran around the fountain for a bit, and then the group left.
- The second group of people I noticed was three teen-aged girls who seemed to be waiting for more people. They stood and talked to each other for the entire five minutes.
- The third group was an older couple who stopped to take a selfie in front of the fountain before continuing their walk around the piazza.
Each group interacted with the fountain differently. The family, especially the children, used the fountain almost like a playground by running around it’s circular base. The girls used the fountain as a meeting place, which is how many Umbra students use it. Finally, the couple reacted to the fountain as many tourists do and took a picture in front of it.
There were many people in the piazza that evening, which made me think about how some people fail to interact with the fountain. The majority of people walked right past it without evening glancing at it. This observation reminded me of JP’s comment about “disturbing complacency” since locals may take the fountain for granted.
The final thing I observed was the flow of people. There was a steady stream coming from Corso Vannucci to the steps and another crossing from Via Maesta delle Volte to Corso Vannucci. Where the two flows intersected many people were standing and talking. Even without streets in the piazza, there was still a “street corner” as described in our readings.
Overall, the people watching exercise highlighted how people utilize Piazza IV Novembre, specifically how they interact (or fail to interact) with the fountain.