Thursday, April 7, 2011

Darsena on Trasimeno Shores

There is a very very nice music club I love in Umbria. It is one of the few that has stood the test of time and seen hundreds of similar joints fall into financial despair and oblivion. The reason? Not sure, but it could be the good music you can listen to there each passing year, the good international and Italian micro brewery beers you can drink, and the very laid back atmosphere.
I am talking about the Darsena, in Passignano sul Trasimeno, Umbria. The place per se is not exceptional. Darsena means docks, but do not worry, no bar brawls of any sorts here. This is an upscale Umbrian lake, for Pete's sakes! Arrgh!
Seriously, the place is not fancy. A low-rise pretty isolated building with one sitting area to sip your beer, and the much larger concert room with stage. Corner seating areas with low rise tables are located in the lounge area to chill out and chat while listening to the music from the room next door. Beer is good, and the music too.
Throughout the years the stage has worked well for local bands, producing a number of live stage performances. This is a much appreciated quality, as in Italy, unlike many other countries, music artists have only few official, very competitive channels to emerge, while emerging groups and singers have to resort to play covers if they want to make a living with music, with zero possibilities to make their music and get appraised by the public. At Darsena the direct contact between public and emerging groups has always been a reality. Players and singers would come from all over Italy to fill the night on the not-so-small stage of Darsena.

Unfortunately this bonanza seems to have ended a bit in the last couple of years. Now you are likely to find artists that come from a more structured background, who have already signed in with a label of some level. It is unfortunate. As usual, venue managers are incapable of selecting a good breed of emerging artists, and it is possible that an unselected bunch of low level players was pushing customers away, forcing management to rely on stronger marketing names. I do remember great music at Darsena, but I also remember dogs yelling in the microphone. It's part of the game, but perhaps too many dogs scare the heard of sheep? Nevertheless, music is still good.

Darsena is definitely a delicious place to be, especially with the nice season. Be sure to head there during your holidays in Umbria.