On Friday evening, shortly after 18:00, the Italian evenings in the school yard of the Stephan Brodman School have only just started and most of the seats have already been taken. The duo Giovanni and Camilla sing “Buna Notte” and “Bella Ciao” with gusto, and a first couple ventures onto the dance floor. It is still hot and muggy in Immenstaad and the sky is getting darker in the west.
The Ukrainian women at the waffle stand point to the school building. “That’s where we live,” says Lyidmila and holds out a waffle with lots of powdered sugar to the visitors with an inviting smile. The five women are happy that they can get involved. More and more locals and guests are pouring into the square. “We come from the Black Forest,” say Ulrike and Peter Strauss. This is not your first time at the Italian Nights. “The festival is not that big and not that commercial,” says Peter Strauss.
Astrid and Wolfgang Schätzle from Karlsruhe also enjoy the cozy atmosphere in Little Italy. You also know the Italian nights of previous years. Astrid Schätzle plucks a leaf of basil from the herb pot, tastes it and smiles. Everything as before Corona. Alexander Endres and Timo Rosczyk sweat at the pizza oven, behind them hard-working pizza bakers are busy kneading, topping and sprinkling the flat cakes, before they form a line of hungry visitors. “You can’t go wrong with a dog,” says Alexander Endres with a laugh and pushes the next pizza into the mobile wood-burning oven that is preheated for half the day. Opposite, the ladies are plowing away at the cutters for the antipasti, everything is freshly prepared.
Clemens Müller helps where he can and sometimes presents salami and spice mixes in jars. “For me it is the most beautiful festival on Lake Constance, everyone is here with a lot of passion,” says the chairman of TuS Immenstaad. His fear that his 70-strong team of helpers would have to get used to work again after the Corona interruption was unfounded, everything runs like clockwork, everyone is in a good mood.
The Reiser and Martin families in Immenstaad meet at one of the fabric-covered bar tables. They look with satisfied faces at the hustle and bustle and the wonderful atmosphere on the school yard. Their connections with the Udine region are what make the Italian nights so authentic. They maintain contact with the producers of the specialties offered and they buy several times a year in Italy. Visitors can enjoy air-dried salami, tasty cheese and the best cask wine of Udine at moderate prices.
What doesn’t come from Italy is the weather. A summer storm sweeps across the lake in Switzerland, driving visitors away with wind and rain. The festival comes to an abrupt end at 9:00 p.m. “Something like this happens every few years, we don’t let ourselves get discouraged and go back to work on Saturday evening,” says Clemens Müller. And then luckily it was dry. Only the temperatures were no longer quite so Italian, for which Giovanni and Camilla easily compensated with atmospheric “Musica”.
TuS Immenstaad organizes the Italian Nights in the schoolyard of the Stephan Brodmann School in Immenstaad. The offer includes culinary specialties such as pizza from the pizza oven, Mediterranean delicacies and wines from the barrel from Northern Italy, as well as varied musical entertainment by the two artists Giovanni and Camilla.