A football stadium is most often a synonym for “home advantage.” That was not the case of the late Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin, however, which both Juventus and Torino reluctantly called their home for 18 years before managing to move away from it. A symbol of waste, poor organization, and underutilization common to many Italian playing grounds.
The Artemio Franchi Stadium in Florence is more than a playing ground. Fiorentina’s home turf is considered an architectural masterpiece of the ‘30s, a clear example of Italian Rationalism, a combination of aesthetic refinement and structural rigor. A stadium that lives up to the beauty of the city it belongs, despite not being the most suitable to watch a football game.
Today’s stadium tour takes us to North-Central Italy. We’re going to talk about a playing ground whose history and expansion went hand in hand with that of the team it hosts. This is a story of late glory, unexpected falls, and a slow but deserved resurrection. We are heading to Parma and therefore to the Ennio Tardini Stadium.
Today’s trip is to the marvelous city of Palermo, the capital of the island of Sicily, where we find a stadium which, depending on who you ask, can be called in one way or another. Its official name is Stadio Renzo Barbera but, by most people, it is still known as La Favorita. A stadium filled with history, which unfortunately also brings back to mind a tragic event.
Sometimes, architectural projects defy any human logic and that is definitely the case of the gigantic San Nicola Stadium in Bari. Whatever the reason may be, one thing is for sure: The city of Bari finds itself with a fantastic stadium, an architectural masterpiece, but placed somewhere where it apparently doesn’t belong, especially when it comes to maintenance costs.
We all know the typical architecture of a stadium: The main stands, the side stands, a running track in some cases, the turf, perhaps a roof. Most football grounds in the Italian Stivale share these elements. But, if we mention a tower, erected in the middle of the stadium, then we can only be talking about one facility: The Renato Dell’Ara Stadium in Bologna.
When we think of Rome, the first things that come to mind are the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the thousands of vestiges from the Roman Empire. But, when a football fan thinks of Rome, her mind cannot but go to the “other coliseum,” the stage where one of the fiercest Serie A derbies is staged: The Stadio Olimpico.
When looking at the city of Genova from an aerial point of view, beyond the port, the colorful coasts, and the mountains, four towers stand out rising from the ground in the center of the city. That is the Luigi Ferraris Stadium or, as it is commonly known, the Marassi: An architectural jewel, the oldest stadium still functioning in calcio and perhaps the most particular.
It is quite common to see Napoli play in international cups nowadays, but that has not always been the case. Since Diego Maradona’s doping ban, Napoli have had many ups and downs (more downs, actually…) and even went through a re-foundation of the club back in 2004. One thing, however, always stood there, firmly, in all its glory: The San Paolo Stadium.
You know it is going to be a great game when it is dubbed a “Derby” even if the two sides don’t come from the same city. There are always huge expectations in a Juventus-Inter game, even with closed doors. Home side Juventus will likely benefit from the return of three important players, whereas Inter cannot afford to lose if they want to keep their Scudetto hopes alive.