Fool-Proof Fiorentina

May 17th, 2018toDecember 17th, 2019

by Ellie Rosa (Stanford University)

The roar of the crowd hits your ears before you even see the stadium. Vendors with tables stacked high with purple sweatshirts, scarves, flags, and hats, rattle out their price offerings as you walk by. Food trucks with paninos, hot dogs, and French fries give the air around you the greasy, yet pleasant and fun-filled, smell that you can only get at a sporting event. The closer you get to the stadium the more the excitement starts to enter your bones.

“Fiorentina, Fiorentina!”

The chant echoes around you as you walk into the stadium at last and then there you are, staring out onto the field and watching Giovanni Simeone, Bryan Dabo, Federico Chiesa, and all the rest begin the game. The elation is nearly palpable, and the rise and fall of the voices in the stadium continues for the entirety of the match.

Football is a thing of passion in Florence. Visitors who arrive marvel at the dedication of the Florentines to the sport, their commitment to ensuring Fiorentina’s success. Many Florentines go to the games every weekend, determined to show support, and to enjoy themselves while doing so. The game brings people together and creates a common bond, unifying people who may otherwise have nothing on which to relate. Soccer is thus much more than a wild afternoon of fun and fervor, it is what can bring together the Florentines, and even unite them with outsiders too.

Attending the May 13, 2018 game of Fiorentina versus Cagliari gives any non-local a chance to see what it is like to be immersed in Florentine culture. At the stadium there were crowds of not only dedicated Florence fans, but also study abroad students, tourists, and others, who became newly converted devotees. The game gives everyone a chance to have something to share, something to love, and opens people’s mind to the thought of celebration and enjoyment.

Even though Fiorentina lost this particular game, they will always be winning in the sense that they allow for the creation of community. The excitement of the afternoon, the fun times shared by so many people, and the commonality that people can share because of the game, is something to be cherished. Fiorentina is fool-proof, the team can never really lose because the true victory is in the joy brought through the social connection the game provides.

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