Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tales of the San Siro

The term "theatre of football" has become a little tired but, in the case of the Milan stadium, I think you have to make an exception. The San Siro cuts a dramatic figure from the exterior and, once inside, your view of the game is truly impressive.
I set out on Thursday on a red-eye flight from Liverpool to Pisa to be met by my parents and taken to the heart of Tuscany. Our first port of call was a little restaurant on the Garfagnana boundary where I enjoyed penne arrabbiata and grilled sole for nine euros. In other words, the same price I had paid for a chewy bacon roll and a rotten coffee at Liverpool airport earlier in the day. Such is life.
Thursday night was a fish treat as we sampled spaghetti alle vongole followed by lobster and langoustine. A few bottles of Vermentino made the night complete.
I realise, now, I am straying somewhat from football but stick with it, we will get there in due course.
Friday brought more of the same on the quality eating front. A beautiful plate of linguine al tartufo followed by veal with rosemary was truly outstanding. I would certainly not go hungry during my trip.
The following day we set off sharp to meet up with the rest of our supporters group in Bergamo. Took lunch in the northern city, then set off in our nine-seater van for the game. We arrived hours early of course but in good time to soak up a bit of pre-match atmosphere. And what an atmosphere.
Even though I was in my seat more than two hours before kick-off the time passed quickly. It is amazing how a few chants of "Chi non salta e' un francese!" and "Oy! Oy! Oy! Pippo Inzaghi segna per noi!" can help you get through a long wait. We had decent seats, second tier, pretty central and a brilliant view of Andrea Pirlo in action. The game was not great - no goals - but the Milan man was breathtaking. One gentle touch with the outside of the boot to set up a teammate was worth the trip alone.
Getting out of the ground was hard work but we were back to Bergamo late and then returned to Toscana on Sunday. Down the road it was time for more good food and attempts to digest the implications of the results. By Wednesday, however, all previous considerations were thrown up in the air. Scotland produced a breathtaking result to beat France, Italy showed some spirit to beat Ukraine. A three-way fight for two qualification places beckons.


TrentToffee said...

Great photo. It looks like a great stadium. Ridculously, last week, in a drunken stupor, I suggested - to a few of the lads - that rather than go on one of our yearly beery Dublin/Edinburgh/Paris Rugby weekends with the 6-Nations (haven't done Rome yet, but we will), we should, instead, go and watch a big football derby somewhere on the Continent. Somewhere like Milan, or Rome, or Turin my mouth mangled. "Great idea !" they all slurred in unison. "fix it up and let us know the damage".

Me and my big mouth :0)

martinobhoy said...

You're right Ginkers, it really is an amazing stadium to watch football in. I've been about 5 times now and I still get an amazing buzz when I see the outside of it walking up from the metro station.

In fact it's almost as good as Celtic Park.......

Anonymous said...

I'm hungry now.

- Juventino

Anonymous said...

And that picture is now by desktop background. Thanks very much.

- Juventino

Aussie Romanista said...

Great foto GR. It's roughly the spot from where I wacthed one P. Maldini score a header against Perugia in 2002 (Milan 3 Perugia 0).

ginkers said...


It might have been drunken talk, but it's a great idea. Let me know when you are going ;-)


Indeed, it's right up there with Glasgow.


I like to mix food and football, two of my favourite subjects.


It is great to go to a live game at a big ground - you always have some special memories!

Red said...

Isn't it shocking to compare what you would get for your money in the UK and in Italy? The spaghetti alla Turiddu I posted on my blog were 5.50 euros; yesterday I had scampi and chips (and they were shite, let me add) and I got charged £6.95. Something is seriously wrong with this picture...

ginkers said...


I have given up trying to compare. I know Italians feel they are getting ripped off by the rising price of pasta but they want to go to some dodgy restaurant here and be charged £10 for something you could make at home for about 99p.