Earlier this semester, I had the opportunity to see a soccer game here in Florence. My roommate was going with her friend from America that was visiting her and invited me to join them. It had been on my Florence bucket list to go to a game, so I figured this was my opportunity. We attempted to buy the tickets online, but had trouble with the website and decided to just get the tickets there. As it goes for most nights in Florence, we planned to walk. However, we saw the stadium seemed to far to make it in time. Then, the choices came down to bus or taxi. We wondered around attempting to find the right bus, but it was taking far too long so we called for a taxi instead. The woman driving was very aggressive in her driving and talking. She yelled at many people as she drove around and we sat in the back in silence hoping the ride would not be much longer. We ran out of the cab and to the ticket booth just in time to make our way into the stadium as the game was starting. As we made our way up the stairs, I was shocked to realize just how large the stadium truly was. Besides the bright green field, all I could see was purple filling up the seats. We found ourselves three seats down at the bottom and I quickly realized I would probably not be in that seat most of the night.
I soon realized that this night was huge for Florence, as it was their big game against Rome. I still had no idea how good Florence’s team was, but with the positivity the crowd brought I had hope for a good game. The funny thing is that I have never been to a big city soccer game like this in America, so while I had no comparison, I was really glad that my first time seeing such an event would be a game in Firenze, the city I have fallen in love with.
Before we knew it, we were cheering along with he crowd. We did not even know half of what we were chanting as it was in Italian, but once you picked up the beat it was easy to follow along. Right before halftime, I ran downstairs to grab something to eat and what was there waiting for me? A hot dog. I suppose it’s an international thing. The game had about fifteen minutes left and the scoreboard still read 0-0. Considering it was a school night I begin to worry I was going to be there very late if the game had to run into overtime or penalty kicks. I brushed off the thought and rejoined the crowd. Many men stood waving huge flags that held the Florentine symbol. Then it happened. Florence scored. The joy and yelling that overtook the crowd was incredible. The noise reverberated in my head the rest of the night. Soon there after, the timer ran out and Florence had done it. Florence beat Rome. The smiling faces around me filled me with joy. I stood observing it all for sometime and there was this phenomenon that I got to be a part of, where no one was different, no one saw each other as strangers or disregarded us because we were Americans. In the moment of the game everyone comes together as one, as a family. We are all cheering for the same team. It was a beautiful thing to see and be apart of. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.