By the time we'd eaten dinner it was 11 pm & the streets were thronging with people trying to gain a good position to watch the midnight fireworks. Hubby & I decided that our best option would be to sit on the beach, but the picnic blanket was in the car, so we trooped back along Corso Matarazzo & back up the hill to where we'd parked at the side of the main road (parking within Santa Maria itself during August is nigh on impossible). Blanket retrieved, we set off back to Marina Piccola & managed to secure ourselves a 'front row' spot, feet almost being tickled by the gentle lapping waves of the incoming tide. 15 minutes later, a large boom announced that it was midnight & the fireworks were about to begin.
But, this being Italy - and southern Italy at that - nothing happened for another 5 minutes. And then began an amazing pyrotechnics display, which had the thousands of us watching clapping our hands, whistling & whooping with appreciation.