All About Football and Sports in Italy

In a country that is mad for spectator sports, it’s fair to say that soccer – known locally as il calcio – is its undisputed number one. It isn’t simply a game, though: for too many Italians their specific squad is almost a religion. Goal360: All About Football and Sports in Italy is a cult that transcends class, age and national boundaries, uniting communities under the banner of their common team.

Why is football a popular sport in Italy?

When you flip on the TV or thumb through a newspaper in Italy, it’s safe to assume that there is a game on, a big match. That’s because soccer is a year-round sport, and there is always a crucial match on the calendar, a clash that must not be missed. On top of that, the Serie A season is long (running from September to May) and crowded with matches, so you’ll often hear references to a team being on a “sprint” to keep its title hopes alive.

Unfortunately, this insatiable appetite for il calcio can lead to occasional bouts of violence, with fans and riot police sometimes clashing outside stadia. While most flare-ups are between hardcore supporters, they can still be disconcerting for the foreign traveler. In a nation where few citizens have much faith in the state or the judiciary, football gives them a place to express their views and feelings on an open stage. It’s not uncommon to hear conspiracy theories, claims of bribes and match-fixing, and angry accusations about referees.