Italy’s national sport
Italy has a proud tradition in international football and has won the World Cup on four occasions – in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 and only Brazil has won more often. The country claims to have one of the best leagues in the world as well as some of the world’s most famous clubs like Inter Milan and Juventus.
Major matches can attract huge attendances – although the average attendance in the top division, Serie A, in 2006 was only 19,361, the lowest for 40 years – and Italy’s top clubs have been among the most successful in Europe.
The Italian league consists of four divisions: Serie A, B, C1 and C2. Serie A is the top division with 18 teams and ticket prices cost from around 20 – 120 euros. The season runs from around the end of August to June, with a break in December-January.
At the end of the season the top team wins the championship while the bottom four teams are relegated to Serie B. Matches are played on Sundays, usually in the afternoon, although they sometimes take place in the evening.
Lazio and Roma
Lazio and Roma are the two principal football teams of Rome. The two teams share the Studio Olimpico and alternate its use. The Stadium is located by the banks of the River Tiber and seats approximately 70 000 spectators. You can buy tickets in advance for Serie A matches from different lottery outlets throughout Rome.
Safety on the matches
There is a heavy police presence on the stadiums for safety and behavior. Tourists visiting a match will be most comfortable – and get the best view – from the Tribuna Tevere, running along the side of the stadium closest to the river. If police are confronting troublemakers, they may use tear-gas, which can spread a long way in the air. Cover your nose and mouth and get away as quickly as you can.