If you had to guess what the most popular sport in Italy is, what would you say? If you guessed soccer - you are right! Soccer in Italy (or calcio as Italians refer to it) is overwhelmingly the most favoured sport in the entire country. The sport is a way of life here for many and has a deep history. Italy soccer began over hundreds of years ago, and today more than four million people play every year. Italian soccer was formed by the association FIGC or the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calico in 1898 and at present day the sport is part of the Union of European Football Association.
The colour of the Italian flag may be red, white and green - but the colour of Italy soccer is blue (or Azzurro). The uniforms of the national team are all blue with the Italy flag and ITALIA on one side. In fact, the name of the team is Squadra Azzurra - “Blue Squad.” The home games of the team are played at stadiums throughout the country and the season runs from August through May. They are trained at the Italian Football Federation headquarters which is located named Centro Tecnico Sportivo Federale della FIGC or nicknamed the Coverciano in Florence, Tuscany.
The World Cup of Soccer is the most renowned competition in the sport and the Italy soccer team ranks as one of the best. They won gold in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006. They rank second in having the most World Cup titles. Brazil ranks first at it - having won five times. Many people come from all over the world to play soccer in Italy and dream of being on this famous team. The team is known amongst its powerful rivals like Brazil, France, Germany, and Spain. In the FIFA World Ranking, the Italian National Team has taken first place more than a few times.
Italian soccer is a passion here and taking a trip to a game or match is an exciting way to immerse yourself in the Italian culture on your journey to Italy. If you can’t make it to the stadium, why not try taking in a game at one of the many sports bars or pubs in the major cities in Italy. Many bars play the games on large screens and hosts parties and events for special games. You’ll still feel the excitement of the Italian soccer match, and you can also enjoy some of the food and drink that Italy is famous for.
If you want to take the train to Florence to see a game, it’s easy. The Santa Maria Novella Station is the central station in Florence and is located right in the heart of the city. The Florence Rifredi or Campo di Marte stations are two other stations in Florence that you might want to take depending on where you are going. If the matches are playing at some of the other stadiums around Italy, most cities and towns have a central train station that makes train travel an easy, stress-free breeze. Refer to the Italy train map for an overall glimpse of the country's railway system.