Europe’s First Flash Mob

July 24th, 2003

www.repubblica.itA flash mob went down today in Rome, as an estimated 100 to 300 people flooded a books and music megastore. They asked employees for nonexistent books. They broke into a round of spontaneous applause. Then they dispersed.

Here’s coverage in Italian from the newspaper la Repubblica, and here’s a clumsy English translation. The photo, courtesy of la Repubblica, shows mobbers evacuating the megastore.

In the comments attached to this posting, you’ll find a report from our Senior Rome Correspondent “JJFlash.”

If you have more photos, please send them (or links to them) to photos[at] More to come.

9 Responses to “Europe’s First Flash Mob”

  1. comment number 1 by: montrealmob

    Good show, 300 is an amazing turnout. Why is applause so popular I wonder?

  2. comment number 2 by: JJFlash

    Hehe.. πŸ™‚

    First of all, La Repubblica exaggerated about the number of people, I think we were one-hundred or so.. but anyway, it was great fun! πŸ˜€

    As for the applause.. yes I know that I’ve not been particularly original, but I was more worried about the number of people that would have actually been present rather than the ideas… I just wanted to “taste the ground” for this first mob..

    I made a mix of two NY mobs: the Love Rug mob and the Hotel Mezzanine mob. In the first part, I invited people to ask about non-existant books to the clerks, and they had some clever title and author inventions, I have to say πŸ™‚
    Then, we moved to the sides of the upper floor and did the applause.

    The “Messaggerie Musicali” security was really going to be pissed off just as soon as we ended the applause… whew!! πŸ™‚

    I’ve already wrote a report of this mob, in Italian, and I will translate it into English real soon and put it online on my site.

    I apologize for my bad English, it’s almost 2 AM over here now, and I really am having a hard time speaking English πŸ™‚

  3. comment number 3 by: janemcg

    congratulations, guys! what a great turnout! looking forward to seeing the next idea you Roman flash mobbers cook up…

  4. comment number 4 by: candy


  5. comment number 5 by: Sandman

    Yeah we was about one hundred, and it was very fun!
    In particular the stand in go ovation (applause)…

    Some clerks say that we didn’t make photo… but flashmobbers with smile in face flashing evrythings πŸ™‚

    sorry for my english i was too much italian πŸ˜€

    too much journalist i think.

    See you later at next flashmobbing!

    Remember “italian do it better”

    next time Sunday morning in St Peter?

  6. comment number 6 by: ReNero

    yeah, italians do it better :> i was probably the first to enter “messaggerie musicali”.. i approached the guy asking “le avventure del gibbone (“ehy, it’s a new one, that’s called “the monkey adventures” abroad!”) and then giving a look on the shelves.. then in half a minute everybody was at the first floor :> i counted 160 people, but that’s a clue.

    really, it was great.
    PS: jjflash, so io quello a cui risposto simpaticamente “m come mavafangΓ‹Ε“” ahuuha πŸ™‚

  7. comment number 7 by: silevainvol

    it was fun!
    sometimes we forget how to play that’s all!

    The place we “invaded”, now a big Bookshop, was a bank in the past, I remember me there, some years ago, often standing in a long boring queue, from now on my memories of that place will be different…
    continuiamo a mobbizzarci

  8. comment number 8 by: grim

    shit, i didn’t know anything

  9. comment number 9 by: El Gato

    El Gato was there!

    You can check my picture of the event at

    or in the archives of UR.