Rome’s Stadio Olimpico seats more than 72,000 spectators, and when the city’s deeply beloved A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio soccer teams hold their home matches here, there isn’t an empty seat in the house. But the stadium isn’t just for "football" fans; rather, the venue is also used for rock concerts and other sporting events.
Soccer is a national obsession in Italy; home matches of the city's two top-division (Serie A) teams are the year’s biggest highlights for Roman sports fans; emotions run high at their matches, especially when they’re vying for a spot for the Coppa Italia, UEFA Champions League Finals, or the FIFA World Cup. The city's original stadium, dating back to the 1930s, was mostly demolished at one point, then expanded. Today's modern stadium was inaugurated in 2008 for the European Cup Finals. Tickets sell out quickly for games at the Stadio Olimpico, so be sure to book in advance. For a truly unforgettable experience, opt for VIP seats, which often include a buffet and open bar.
Things to Know Before You Go
Italian football fans generally behave well at matches, with much good-natured bantering and chanting. The most rabid fans are seated in the curva nord and curva sud—the stadium’s north and south curves.
Matches last 90 minutes and are split into two halves. During the 15-minute break in the middle, crowds rush the concession stands for snacks and drinks.
Large bags and backpacks can’t be taken inside the stadium, and there are security checks for banned items.
Lazio players dress in sky blue and white; the Roma sport gold and dark red. If you’re looking to suit up, you can buy gear outside the stadium before the game.
The Italian National Rugby team also uses this stadium—the Six Nations Rugby finals are also a popular event.
How to Get There
Stadio Olimpico, located on Piazzale del Foro Italico, is part of the Foro Italico Sports Complex outside the city center. The easiest way to get there is by public transportation: Take the metro line A from Piazza del Popolo to Flaminio, then the tram 2, which goes right to the stadium.
When to Get There
Soccer season lasts from August to May; some championship games run into the beginning of summer.
Italy's Soccer Clubs
Roma and Lazio are the two teams based in Rome, but most major Italian cities have their own local teams as well; most famously, Milan, Turin, and Naples.