Attending a Soccer Match in Italy

by Akhil Kalepu

May 5, 2016

AS Roma vs Manchester United © Amdizdarevic | Dreamstime

Tips / Destination

Italy’s soccer teams are some of the best in the sport, with supporters wearing jerseys all over the world. While most tourists in Italy like to go sightseeing, attending a match is one of the must exhilarating cultural experiences one can have in the country. Be sure to follow these tips to have a good time.

 

Beat the Heat

Summer is vacation time for Italians and the offseason for players. You might be able to catch an international qualifier, but for club matches you’ll need to wait until late August.

 

Stay Sidelined

You’re probably tifosi, Italian for the regular fan, so you want to sit along the sidelines to watch. The curva is traditionally reserved for ultras, which are the fanatical fan groups you hear about in the news. Hooliganism is mostly prevalent in England, but Italian soccer rivalries can be deeply political and get violent at times.

 

Switch Leagues

Series A is the top league to play in, but if you’re not familiar with the players, a lower tier will be just as fun to watch, specially if you’re the kind of sports fan who goes to minor league games. That being said, Series B teams are not farm teams. Most are small-town squads and every year there are a handful of promotions and demotions between the leagues, though big-city teams like AC Milan and Juventus usually dominate Series A.

 

Go International

The World Cup and Euro Cup are held every four years, with the country fielding Italy’s players for the national team. There’s also the Champions League, a competition between Europe’s top club teams, in addition to friendlies, which are exhibition matches against a visiting squad from a different country.

 

Sunday Mass

Matches are usually held on the weekend, most of which are on Sunday which is ironic given the prevalence of Catholicism. Visitors should know the stadiums are typically outside of city centers, and, as a foreigner, you’ll probably need to go to the box office to purchase a ticket.

 

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