Boots, Balls and Flares: Are You Ready for Calciomania?


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Soccer season starts August 24th

I Gigliati, i Partenopei, i Rossoneri, La Vecchia Signora and the rest of Italy’s Serie A elite kick-off twenty weeks of calcio madness this Saturday, August 24th.. Italians up and down the peninsula are gearing up for that emotional roller coaster that is watching a soccer game in Italy – whether at home, a bar or the stadium – for the cries of joy, the clutches of despair and wide range of poetic insults that will ensue.

Soccer for Italians is no joke. The average fan, il tifoso, is connected to the heart beat of his team everyday through the varied soccer journals and newspapers that can be found at all newsstands in Italy. However, it gets more serious with the hardcore fans, known in Italy as ultras, who have their own section and are always decked out in the latest, greatest soccer gear. Ultras will scream, light flares and sing war-like chants before, during, and after the game in support of their favorite team and especially to antagonize their most bitter rivals. Italian soccer fans are pazzi about this sport.

At times it can be more fun watching how the fans react to shots on goal and calls by the referees than actually watching the game. Yes, Italians can’t get enough of soccer. Ultras live and die for their team, and with the players more recognized and higher paid than most Italian celebrities, it’s no wonder soccer is so popular. When hearing words ringing from vai vai, Madonna, Dio Mio , to non hai un cuore and ahhhh traditore (go go, Mother of God, my God, you don’t have a heart, ahhh traitor)… it’s hard to resist the fascination.

So how can you partake in a bit of the madness? Tune in to one of these games on Saturday – we promise you won’t regret it!

Milan vs. Verona

8/24 @12 p.m. EDT at Marcel’ Antonio Bentegodi Stadium

These two teams kick off the start of Serie A. Just think Last Supper vs. The Arena of Verona. Famous and highly celebrated, the Last Supper painting in Milan is one of the most visited pieces of artwork in the world. But don’t underestimate the Arena of Verona, this fierce Roman amphitheater is one of the most prestigious archaeological monuments in Europe.

Juventus vs. Sampdoria

8/24 @2:45 p.m. EDT at Luigi Ferraris Stadium

Not only known for i bianconeri, Turin has its own secret weapon. Yes that’s right, no one can resist wine, chocolate, and FIATs. On the other hand, Genoa’s strategic position on the Mediterranean Sea is set to dazzle and fascinate anyone who comes its way.

What team are you cheering for?

Fiorentina vs. Catania

8/26 @2:45 p.m. EDT at Artemio Franchi Stadium

A classic match-up between the Renaissance capital vs. the Etna powerhouse. The world-renown Uffizi gallery is the star of Florence but an undeniable Catania and its remarkable Sicilian cuisine might be the one to beat!

Roma vs. Livorno

8/25 @2:45p.m. EDT at Stadio Armando Picchi Stadium

The Eternal City and the the shore of Livorno are ready to kick-start the second day of Serie A. Like the mighty Colosseum of Rome, Livorno and its luscious layers of remarkable Ligurian Sea are ready to do battle. Excited to watch the game? We are too!

Napoli vs. Bologna

8/25 @2:45 p.m. EDT at San Paolo Stadium

The undeniably talented and enormously celebrated team from Naples is eager to take on Emilia-Romagna’s capital, Bologna. In Bologna there exists the oldest university in the world and once a main center of intellectual life in the Middle Ages, but never to be underestimated, Naples and their oh-so-delicious pizza producers are excited to see a win.

Are you excited to watch Serie A?  What is your favorite team? We want to know! 

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