Published: May 10th 2012May 8th 2012
It has been a busy two weeks and I have so much to catch everyone up on. I made a checklist of everything yesterday while on the train so I would be sure not to leave anything out. I left off with Saturday April 21st and my hike through the Tuscan hillside. The following day was our AIFS cultural outing to the football game between Fiorentina and Inter Milan. I knew it was going to be a difficult outing because of all my physical activity the previous day; what I didn’t expect was the migraine I had upon waking up in the morning. I made sure to dig out my migraine meds and take a couple before getting ready to go to the game. On top of the migraine I was sore, it hurt to walk, or move. I knew I wanted to try to make it through the game, it isn’t a daily opportunity people have to be in Florence and cheer on the home football team, but this was going to be interesting.
I had done some previous reading about the Florence football team and new they have not had the best of seasons, what I
also found out was that Inter Milan was equally unsuccessful in their season. I thought Milan was supposed to be awesome, well it turns out there are two Milan football teams. So at least now I felt better about the outlook of the game, I had previously expected a slaughter. So I crawl out of bed and manage to get geared up, I have my Fiorentina shirt as well as shoes that I had purchased on clearance the previous week.
The stadium is located on the other side of town and outside of the circle of train tracks and freeways that circle Florence so I hadn’t seen it before. After getting into the stadium I found I was underwhelmed; it reminded me of a large high school stadium, but defiantly not a professional one. It would fit into the lower bowl of Husky stadium with plenty of room to spare. We were a bit early for the game so we had some time to look around a bit. There is only a small seating area for the away team fans, and this section is outlined in plexi-glass. I’m guessing there have been problems in the past between
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The open space on the left was blocked off to keep Fiorentina fans away from the Inter Milan fans on the Right. They are also divided by glass.
home and away fans. Also when you purchase you ticket you are assigned a seat, but in Italy or at least in Florence these seat assignments are taken as merely suggestions as we were advised by our AIFS guide Jed. So we were able to pick out the sits that suited our needs best. We went up a single flight of stairs so we could have an elevated view and sat in the first row so we could stretch out our legs and if anyone stood the whole game, which did not happen, we would not have to.
When it is time for the game to start the players are called and run out on the field, and then there is a moment of silence for a Fiorentina player who had recently passed away. Then the crowd sang a song about their beloved Viola (Purple, the color of Fiorentina)! After this the game commenced! The game seemed slow to me, which could have been my because of my physical ailments, but I found the most entertaining part of the game to be the group of older males sitting in front of us and the hurling of insults
between the Inter Milan fans and the rest of the stadium. Although I didn’t understand the words being said, I could tell that they were passionately insulting each other by the tone of the different voices and the hand gestures they used. Even young kids were yelling and calling the Inter Milan fans things I’m sure their mothers would not approve of; but of course their mothers were yelling right along with them, so I guess it is just things my mother wouldn’t approve of. Huge purple flags were waved at every shot on goal and fans went wild. It was difficult to tell if they were happy because there was a shot on goal or upset because it was missed. I will admit that because of my headache and the migraine pills I had taken I was having a difficult time staying awake during the game. There was more than once that I would find my head snapping back up when the crowd cheered. I felt guilty about this and could only wonder what the Italians were saying about the rude American girl who was sleeping threw their beloved national pastime. Let me just make it clear that it wasn’t on purpose, my migraine meds frequently make me sleepy, I usually take them and go straight back to bed. At the end of the game the score was tied at 0-0, and as soon as that whistle blew the group of guys in front of us (we were a set of steps up from them and in the first row, they were in the last row of their section) hopped over the rail that they had been using for seats the whole game and strait to the exit in more speed than I would have expected them capable of.
Since I still had my migraine I was grateful it was so uneventful, otherwise it would have been painful. The stadium, if it could be called one, emptied quickly. The people I was with made a quick exit and trek across town back to where everyone’s apartments are. When I got home I went straight back to bed and quickly back to blissful sleep. I slept straight through till morning.
The song sung before Fiorentina Games: (If you want to hear what it is supposed to sound like, we found it on youtube before the game so we could practice)
Garrisca al vent il labaro viola
May the purple flag flutter in the wind
Sui campi della sfida e del valore
On the fields of challenge and honor
Una speranza viva ci consola
A lively hope comforts us
Abbiamo undici atleti ed un solo cuore
11 athletes and 1 heart we have
Oh Fiorentina, di ogni squadra ti vogiam regina
Oh Fiorentina, of every team, we want you to be the queen
Oh Fiorentina, combatti ovunque ardita e con valor
Oh Fiorentina, everywhere you hardy fight, with pride
Nell’ora di sconforto o di vittoria
In moments of victory or defeat
Ricorda che del calico tu hai la storia
Remember that the history of soccer is yours
Maglia viola lotta con vigore
Purples fight with vigour
Per esser di Firenze vanto e floria
To be the fame and glory of Florence
Sul tuo vessillo scrivi forza e cuore
On you banner write “strength and heart!”
E nostra sara’ sempre la vittoria!
And victory will always be ours!
Ale’ Ale’ Viola!
I found another purple team to cheer for, how awesome!