Rome like the rest of Italy has a football fixation. The daily “sports” papers consist of 30 pages of football and 10 pages of other sports. Whether you are a football fanatic or just curious, a trip to the Stadio Olimpico to see either Lazio or Roma is well worth it to feel the passion of this “new religion”. If you prefer the 15 man game then the Stadio Flamino in Rome is the home of Italian international rugby. Have look at our article on rugby for an insider’s view on the 6 nations tournament in Rome. Spring in Rome see a flurry of sports activity before everyone goes off to the sea as it is too hot to run around. Primavera starts with the marathon, continues with Giri d’Italia cycling, the Rome masters tennis and finishes with show jumping in Piazza Siena. For fuller details on sports events have a look in our current and past “What’s on: Sport” section on the home page.
Ever wondered how Italians eat so well and stay slim? Easy, they work out. In fact there are gyms everywhere and many quality facilities in hotels are also open to locals. The other big weekly activities are swimming and 5-a-side football (Calcettto “little football”). In summer opting for a hotel which is a bit less central but has a pool is a good idea. Alternatively, you can always cool off in the sea, which is only 20 miles away. There are widespread tennis facilities in Rome too and hotels that do not have courts often have an access agreement with a local club. Finally, with 9 months of good weather, golf is big in Rome. Around the city there are six 18 hole courses some with hotel facilities. Have a look at our golf page for details.
Serie A Football – September - June
6 Nations Rugby - February - March
Rome Marathon - March
Grio d’Italia Cycling - May
Rome masters tennis - May
Piazza di Siena Show jumping - May
Buying tickets on line for a sports event is something of a jungle but have a surf all the same. However, in my experience the only way to get face value is to go in person to the stadium or sales point. Why not send your tour guide on an errand if you want the best deal? This is true for both football and rugby. As a crowd control measure at football matches all tickets show the name of the person taking them up so do not buy tickets from touts as security might stop on the turnstile when you don’t look like “Mario Rossi / John Smith”. Take ID to prove you are the person nominated on the ticket.
Tip - Safety in numbers
Violence at football matches is a problem in Italy but can be easily avoided. Do not buy tickets in the away end or near it (Curva Sud for Lazio games and Curva Nord for Roma games). Buy a scarf for the team you are going to support then make sure you are part of a bigger group of fans on your approach to the stadium. You are best going with a local or a tour guide who knows how things work.