We are definitely in the land of soccer, or “calcio” as it is called here in Italy. People on the streets wear a wide range of soccer apparel -for Italy as well as other countries, with Brazil being a popular choice among the young. Soccer is a national obsession and has been shown in its full glory during the World Cup occurring in Germany.
We were in Anzio for the first round of games and I will readily admit I have only a basic knowledge of soccer and little interest in the sport. My language school classmates are from Australia and England and their favorite topic of conversation had been the World Cup results, until their respective teams lost.
It was easy to tell when Italy scored a goal or won a game based on the yells, horns and fireworks in the neighborhood. It was unusually quiet in the area when the US team tied the Italians, though we could hear our next door neighbor screaming obcenities at the TV.
We have been in Ascoli Piceno for the final round, staying in the center of town just 2 blocks from a main road and, after the win over Ukraine, we could hear the horns and yelling well past midnight. Last night’s game against Germany went past midnight local time, then there was a pause as we could tell people were getting to their cars and motorini so they could drive around and honk their horns and yell.
Of course the results of each game are front page news and I suspect the country as a whole will sit in front of the television on Friday night when Italy plays France for the championship. Cafes have big screen TVs set up in piazzas and we can hear numerous televisions in our neighborhood through open windows.
I guess this is an experience that should not be missed as the World Cup is only once every four years…I just hope Friday’s game is over before midnight so we can get some sleep!
"Forza Italia"...you have to cheer for the home team.