Italian Calcio


Italian Enthusiasts know that you cannot be an Italian Enthusiast without knowing a thing or two about calcio. Aside from the literal definition of calcio meaning kick, the word also signifies the beloved sport of soccer, and for Italians, soccer comes second, just after the Virgin Mary, and before family.

There are many ways Americans can get involved with Italian calcio. Not only are the games televised and available with online streaming, but also fantasy calcio competitions are available, such as the one at: Further, Italian teams do play in the United States from time to time. A few years back, I attended the Milan vs. Chelsea game in Florida.

If you are in Italy, however, it is definitely worthwhile to attend a game. Not only is the excitement and energy exhilarating, but it is also a cultural learning experience visiting an Italian stadium.

I saw Florence play Palermo in the Florence stadium in 2012 (with the help of my hotel concierge), and Italy play Germany at the stadium in Milan in 2013 (with the invitation of an Italian friend). Admittedly, hearing many stories in the past about overzealous fans injuring each other with knives, I asked my friend if I had anything to worry about while in attendance. His response was basically, “don’t worry, they don’t stab you, they only slice you a little.” I was relieved and felt much safer!!

Florence is also a special city for calcio because it is the home where the Italian national soccer team practices throughout the year, and also the headquarters for the Italian national team’s organization. It is referred to as Coverciano.

I visited Coverciano a few years ago, including its on-campus museum. For serious soccer fans in Italy, it is worth visiting. Just get in a taxi in Florence and ask to be taken to Museo del Calcio in Coverciano. It’s about a 15-minute drive from the center of Florence.  The photos in the above slide were taken at Coverciano in 2013.

I encourage anyone to share stories or information about Italian soccer below.