Most of the world associates football as a sport where the players actually use their feet. The United States says that is soccer. But don’t get me wrong, I love American football, I plan on streaming the games live on Thanksgiving. This sunny Sunday afternoon I decided to attend a professional football game in Europe. It has been on my bucket list for a while now and Vic and I were able to figure it out. I bought a jersey, sporting number 22: Giuseppe Rossi, forward and we went on our way to the stadium. We took bus number 17 towards the stadium, the bus itself was packed like sardines! We got off a bit early and walked a couple blocks to the ticket counter and bought the cheapest tickets we could get, only €30. We made our way to our entrance, all the way around the stadium, and bought street food. I’m not really sure what it was, but I later found out that it was the local street food of sheep guts basically put on a brioche bun with peppers and sauce. It was so delicious. Our panini in hand and our Moratti beer we walked into the crowded stadium that you could hear from blocks away. As we walked under the tunnel to get into the stadium, we looked up and saw the stadium packed with people sporting purple with the giglio, (Florence’s trademark lily) and chanting, singing, and waving flags with symbols of ACF Fiorentina.
We found some seats high up so we could see the field and ate our food. The game started out pretty slow. We played Empoli FC; they are from a small town called Empoli about 20 km away from Firenze. They scored twice in the first half and Fiorentina was making stupid mistakes. After halftime it was like they got it back, we scored twice and kept the ball on their half of the field most of the time, taking many shots on goal. The game went on for an extra five minutes more, but nothing happened so it ended in a 2-2 tie. It was quite fun, everyone hugging and chanting and clapping when they would score. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before; when they say that Europeans really take football seriously, they aren’t kidding. The only issue was that it was so cold! It did not get above 50 degrees while we were there, so we opted to walk home to get warm.
I truly have fallen in love with this city. Saturday night was rainy so we decided to go to the Galleria degli Uffizi to peruse the artworks. Then Sunday, go to a football game. All just because we can.