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Stadio Olimpico

Italy > Rome

There's a fairly long list of things that Italians take seriously - strong coffee, good food, and even better wine among them - but one that should never be missed from the list is football. Having won the World Cup four times, and boasting some of the best teams in Europe, the sport is practically a religion. With that in mind, no visit to Italy would be complete without attending a match - and where could be better than one of the world's most famous sporting amphitheatres, Rome's Stadio Olimpico?

The modern day equivalent of the Colosseum, the Stadio Olimpico is today home to both AS Roma and their arch rivals, Lazio. During the football season, the atmosphere within the stadium is famously electric, with up to 70,000 fans packing into the stands to sing, chant and jeer. Not content with only one sport, it also plays host to athletics competitions, serves as the base for Italian international rugby, and holds live gigs throughout the year.

A murky history

The Stadio Olimpico forms part of the Foro Italico sports complex, originally named the Foro Mussolini after the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who commissioned its construction. By all accounts, the complex was designed as much as anything to show the power of the regime - an obelisk reading "MVSSOLINI DVX" (“Mussolini, the Leader”) sitting in the middle of the complex is testament to this.

Having previously hosted the 1960 Olympics, the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 2009 Champions League Final, and with the stadium set to host the Euro 2020 competition, the site has been updated at various points over the years. Today, it's fair to say that it's probably in need of a little more updating, but it still ranks up there as one of the most exciting stadiums in Europe to catch a match in.

Visiting the Stadio Olimpico

Unfortunately, the stadium doesn't offer tours at present, so in order to take it all in you'll just have to go and see a match, news which will obviously be devastating to all football fans out there. Here's the need to know:

  • Tickets: For big matches, such as international fixtures or Roman derbies, you'll need to buy your ticket online long beforehand, but for smaller matches just a few days ahead will suffice. Tickets can be bought via either team's website, and prices vary depending on the match.
  • Choose your stand wisely: The stadium has 8 different areas, but Lazio's 'Ultras' - die hard fans with a reputation for violence, sexism and racism - occupy the Curva Nord stand. Roma's Ultras sit in the Curva Sud stand. Generally, it is not advised to sit in either one of these areas.
  • Go early: The stadium is in need of some modernisation, and queues for the turnstiles, security checks and bar can be long.
  • Know what to expect: The toilets at the stadium are notoriously bad, particularly the women's. Take tissue, hand sanitiser and a strong sense of humour.
Address

Stadio Olimpico

Viale dei Gladiatori

Rome

Italy 00135 Roma

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