There are derbies. And then there are derbies better known as riots. Like the history of the Roman Gladiators getting enacted outside the stadium. It’s said that no one can be as excited as an Italian in the Roma-Lazio derby match. And true they are! You don’t riot for the football team you root for. They do!
The last time a fight broke out during the Lazio-Roma derby, 170 people got injured and many more were tear-gassed. No! Don’t skip this page reading this one line. There are things in Italy which football fans wouldn’t miss for their lives. So, read on!
Football fans know what it means to hold on to your team. Every match you watch, is something that you play along with them. And Rome has something for everyone. So, if you are planning a trip to Rome and the Lazio-Roma derby isn’t in the itinerary, you’re eating half the fruit. Here are a list of things every football fan shall do or find in Rome.
1. The Lazio-Roma derby.
The best part about going to watch this derby is you HAVE to choose sides. You can’t stay neutral and complete the game. The stadium is divided between the fans and supporters of the two rival teams. Whichever side you choose to sit, you belong to that team. The energy of the football matches in Italy is infectious, and this derby match is historically so.
2. Go to Stadio Olimpico.
The seat of the world famous derby. But it’s more than that. Every football fan shall find a gold mine of football history in the premises of the stadium. Going through the steps of evolution of Italian football, making sure of the match tickets available in many sports shops.
3. The S.S Lazio Store and A.S Roma Store.
Stuff your tour inventory with a nice and comfy jersey from any of the stores listed here. These two are the authentic stores which sell branded jerseys of the two teams. You are going to be a part of a historical derby, choose your team and get ready for the match! You have no idea what’s waiting for you.
4. A Roman stadium is heaven during the matches.
Football fans should ideally plan their trip to Rome at the end of the spring. This is when the Italian serie ‘A’ matches begin. Very few understand the furious energy of football stadiums and Italy does it the best. In Stadio Olimpico lies the heart of Italian football, but make sure to attend the league matches for it’s a tremendously crazy experience.
5. Something that’s the most special.
Italians are famous for befriending people. More so the football fans, they are the warmest of all. When you go to any match, you sit without choosing any side. Few minutes down the match, you are part of the choreography of cheering and shouting for at least one party of the match. When we said the fever’s infectious, we meant it.
A fan of football or not, if you want to catch the Italians in their most excited, loudest phase, catch up on any one football match. But trust us, the city looks best when there is a derby! If you are not much of a fan but enjoy the game, experience something you used to have during your childhood days: the days of a East-Bengal/Mohunbagan derby match or a Churchill Brothers – Dempo match or the famous India-Pakistan cricket rivalry. While we are at it, Italy has bars even, owing allegiance to the two different teams.
March-April is the best time for football fans, as you see flags are hoisted in places, allegiances declared, battle lines drawn. Dress up and choose your jersey and immerse yourself in the culture of football, food, sports and warm people. This is one arena where all roads in Rome do lead to the stadium.