This past month, I had the amazing opportunity to experience a true European futbol game! We arrived at the stadium just past 8 o’clock for the 8:30 PM game, but the stadium was already packed with fans dressed in purple, the color of the Forza Fiorentina team. There was one section of the stadium blocked off with empty seats on the left and right for the fans of the opposing team. From the taunting that persisted throughout the game, it was clear why they had to separate the two teams fans.
The atmosphere in the stadium reminded me much of a Badgers football gameday. People of all ages were united with their one goal for the night – see Florence beat Milan. The most surprising difference that I noticed between American stadium and the Florentine stadium was that smoking was allowed. Whether it was a bad call by the referee or a good play by the home team, the fans kept puffing away on their cigarettes in true Italian style. Unfortunately, the game ended in a 2-1 loss, but it was still an amazing experience!