As everyone knows by now, Italy never made it out of the first round in the Mondiale. This has been a shock to the entire nation and it hasn't been pretty.
Many Italian flags were flown at half staff the day after the horrible loss. The level of anger was beyond belief. We watched as people poured out of their local bars after the game and the yelling and gesticulating was incredible. My nephew pulled down the flag that he had put up on his balcony and tore it to pieces.
The day after the game, the Italian team returned to Rome, only to be met by an angry crowd of hooligans who yelled "Vergognatevi!" (Shame on you!) to the team as they came through the airport. It was disgraceful!
Now things have calmed down a bit and are returning to normal. It's nice to see that all the flags that were hung in front of our bar are still there. Our little neighborhood is not quite so angry as some others.
The news coverage was full of interviews and pundits, each one trying to explain the "humiliation" that was suffered. This truly was a spectacular free fall, after the victory of four years ago. With the elimination of the French and the Italians, who were both in the finals last Mondiale, it's a wide open contest...it's just one that no one here is particularly eager to follow this time around.