November 23, 2011

Calcio Madness

Last weekend, our beloved AC Milan team was here in Florence. I say beloved because I have no choice in which team I will choose to route for. You see, the soccer tradition is so deeply rooted here in Italy, that if I dared choose an opposite team than my boyfriends family : I would be in big trouble (all in good fun!! ) I don't mind either, because their colors of rossoneri (Red & Black) are the same of my alma mater of UGA.

Obtaining tickets was nothing short of signing your life away, standing in long lines and paying a lot of money. You see, we wanted to originally sit IN the Milan section, which is literally baracked off from the rest of the stadium. Blocked off by tall, bulletproof (yes bulletproof) glass. I have seen on the news the violence that can occur at the matches, but never associated this with Florentine behavior. I am uneducated on the subject of soccer, so I just assumed this was only a Napolitano or Roman characteristic. Nope. We were unable to get inside the Milan section due to the rules they have regarding who can buy the tickets. You have to have a special card basically saying you do not reside in Florence, otherwise you are not allowed in this section (again, due to the risk of violence). So we chose to get seats in the adjacent section. 

It was very very interesting to watch the dynamic between the Florentine fans (some were carried out by security guards) and the Milan fans who were also very hot headed. During the halftime, the areas for concessions are also baracaded off between the sections. We saw at least 2 dozen full armored security gaurds standing there in case of fighting. Side note:  many of them were sipping on small plastic cups of espresso & smoking cigarettes :)

Unfortunately for us (My american girlfriend & I) the game was boring. Even boring for Italian standards. However, it was very fun to experience the game from a different perspective. In relating to this sort of dynamic between the fans, I think it also shows how Italians are in general. Each region of Italy is so different, with different dialects, different cuisines, different mentality. This was clearly obvious in how the men (all men!!) react to each other when routing for their favorite soccer teams.

Grazie Maggie for snapping the photo of the Iacoucci brothers & me after the game!! 

1 comment:

Murissa Maurice said...

It seems to be a sports themed week for both of us. I am heading down to Vancouver to see the Grey Cup. last time I was at a game there was a fight which is always expected at any sports event and alcohol themed night.

Although I can't say that the danger is as extensive as what it seems to be at your soccer match - i can't believe it is so segregated between florence and milan in the stands. Shows how deep the passion runs!

Thank you for sharing!
The Wanderfull Traveler

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...