Festa al Franchi

I have gone to the stadio (stadium) Franchi a few times to watch the Fiorentina play. I love the excitement and the energy of the partite (games). This afternoon the Fiorentina won their final game of the season against Torino and made it into the top four of the Italian championships, which allows them to play in the preliminaries for the Champion's League. Normally many of the tifosi (soccer fans) go to the airport to greet the squadra (team), but tonight they also opened up the stadio to over 30,000 tifosi and we could welcome our team back to Florence.

Living in Florence :: Festa al Franchi

I was at home and heard people honking their horns and driving around town with bandiere (flags) flying from the windows. It all started after the game around 5 p.m.

At almost 10 p.m., Alessandro drove us to his parent's house, which isn't far from the stadio, and we ran at least a mile to get there. The streets were packed with cars, but not many people were walking around outside. We could hear people cheering in the stadio a few blocks away and we knew we missed the entrance of the squadra.

We ran into the stadio to the back of the lower level and Alessandro held on to me while I stood on the low fence behind the seats. I snapped as many pictures as I could even though the crowds all around me were cheering, singing, clapping their hands and waving large bandiere in support of the Fiorentina.

The energy in the stadio was electric with all the ecstatic tifosi watching the calciatori (soccer players) running along the field, waving to people, and kicking palle (soccer balls) into the stands.

Right before the calciatori left, almost all the members of the squadra stripped off their gear and shoes and threw everything into the crowds into a section called "Curva Fiesole." A few of the players left the campo (field) in only their underwear.

My most cherished photo of the evening is the one I posted here with some of the Fiorentina calciatori running down the campo together. I was especially happy because I got my favorite calciatori: Montolivo, Pazzini and Ujfalusi. Unfortunately, Donadel and Osvaldo were trailing behind and didn't fit into the photo.

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