Luna Park: A kick in the seat of adulthood

There it sprawls, among the leafless trees at the foot of the Castello Sforzesco: the Luna Park. In stark contrast to the arthritic bend of bare branches, stand the makeshift rides and booths, festooned with lightbulbs and neon, stars and flags—the makings of a childish perfect day. During the morning hours the amusement park sleeps, its bumper cars and trains tucked under plastic sheets to protect them from the damp. But in the afternoon, when the children spill out of school, it comes to life. Vibrant, tacky, irrepressible! Step right up…


Step right up! Get your tickets here! Bright, plastic tags that fit in your pocket or on a bracelet around your wrist. Fly to the moon in a rocket ship! Risk whiplash on the caterpillar roller coaster. Scramble your brains in a bumper car. Shoot the red balloon and win a plush tiger. Then up you go over the bare-limbed park in the ferris wheel, up into the quiet air then down again into the mêlée. Fly back in time to carefree days and yellowed photographs when a dollar (or 1000 lire) in your pocket went for ride after giddy ride.

And fly, if you dare, on the madcap Calcio-in-Culo (Kick in the Butt), a rickety contraption that spins you around in a seat attached to two chains attached to a hook! Safety codes be damned, as you careen madly around, taking bumps in the rear every now and then from the person behind you. This is insanity! This is what it feels like to be ten again! Wild and weightless in every sense of that beautiful word.


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7 Responses to Luna Park: A kick in the seat of adulthood

  1. anna says:

    Calcio-in-Culo! I love it!!!

  2. So glad you like it. It’s funny, isn’t it?

  3. Debra Kolkka says:

    I’ve never heard of it. Where is it? I too, can see the humour in calcio-in-culo.

  4. Excuse me if I’m saying something you already know, but Luna Park is more or less a generic term to mean amusement park…especially this little kind that comes and goes, or which is near the beaches…this one is in Parco Sempione (right in the middle and extending to beneath the castle) at this time of the year running up to Carnevale. And then it disappears to come back later–if I’m not mistaken–in the Spring or Summer.
    Did you see that I put a permanent link on the site to your site? I thought that be nice for readers to have another source…

  5. Edie Cohen says:

    Brings back wonderful memories of taking my son to the Luna Park in Forte dei Marmi. Grazie.

  6. Pingback: Closed/Week in review | The Daily Cure

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