Olympic Stadium, Rome
This is Super Bowl week back home in the States. Millions of Americans are buying big screen TVs, betting on teams in their office pool, and comparing recipes for their favorite foods, snacks, and dips. Even if they are not football fans, many Americans will sit down to watch the biggest game of the year. (Go Patriots!)
Here in Italy, the number one national sport is also football – except it’s called “soccer” or “calcio“. Last weekend a few of our P.C. in Rome students decided to go on a great adventure by attending an Italian calcio match here in Rome. Jimmy De Bowes, a finance major from New Haven, CT., shares his experience below:
“Lazio and Roma both play their homes games about a mile and a half from our apartment in Prati so attending a game was a no-brainer. Going to an Italian soccer (calcio) game was unlike any sporting event I’ve ever been to. The cheapest way to get tickets was to walk a quarter mile to a Lazio apparel shop that doubles as a ticket office. For anyone going in the future, be careful not to believe the street vendors/scalpers who tell you the game is sold out and try to sell you overprice tickets. You need to show your passport to even get into the shop.”
“Then, once you get to the stadium, they look at your passport and ticket three separate times. But the game was well worth the trouble. We shared our love for soccer with a few local fans sitting near us who spoke Italian and English, which made the environment even better. I was surprised to see they sell hot dogs at the game. A vendor will also walk around to sell you water and boxes of crackers that you would see at the supermarket.”
“Stadio Olimpico is huge and the fans are passionate. The Lazio fans wave giant flags the entire game and set off fireworks and smoke bombs when their team scores. The fans are loud and obnoxious just like they are at American football games, but Lazio fans continue to celebrate long after a goal is scored. Thank God the Lazio and visitor (Milan) fans sit in different sections on different sides of the stadium, because they all have a deep hatred for any opposing team. The die-hard fans sit in a high-demand, sold-out section called Curva Nord. With so much security on site, I’m still confused as to how these fans get flags and fireworks into the stadium.”
“After an early goal in the 4th minute from Milan, Lazio put up 3 unanswered and won 3-1. Despite the score, it was an intense game with several injuries, cards and a brawl started by soon to be suspended Milan defender Philippe Mexès.” – Jimmy DeBowes.
Of course, Providence College loves soccer. Last season our Men’s Soccer team won the Big East championship. And a few of our players were recently selected in the 2015 Major League Soccer Super Draft.