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See a Soccer Game in Italy: Ultimate Guide for 2019/20 Season

AS Roma Curva Sud - Seeing a soccer game in Italy

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Going to see a soccer game in Italy is an exciting way to get to know the country and its culture. The roar of the crowd. The gorgeous green pitch.  The chanting and singing — tutto in italiano. Attending a football match lets you go beyond the typical itinerary of monuments and museums and just simply hang out with Italians in an authentic, passionate, and familial environment.

If you’ve ever attended any kind of sporting match inside a stadium, you know there’s nothing like ascending those stairs up to the point where the arena and the crowd come into view. Being in the stands when your team scores is also exhilarating, as everyone joins together in a call-and-response with the stadium announcer to call out the goal scorer’s name.

Two hours at a soccer game is over in a flash. But it’s an experience that you’ll carry with you for years to come, especially if you attend a match with a calcio-loving kid.

Over the years, many readers have asked for my advice about seeing a soccer match in Italy. So here is my primer.

See a soccer game in Italy - Photo of a crowd at an AS Roma game in Stadio Olimpico
An AS Roma game at Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Rome’s two Serie A teams — AS Roma and SS Lazio — share this stadium in northern Rome.
Seeing a soccer game in Italy
Alessandro Florenzi of AS Roma is unimpressed

Serie A

Serie A is the premier soccer league in Italy and the one that Italians follow most closely. The league consists of 20 teams and each team plays all of the others twice throughout the season, once at home and once at the other team’s stadium. The season runs through the end of August/beginning of September until the end of May/beginning of June, with several weeks off here and there for international breaks (e.g., Euro Cup and World Cup qualifiers). So that means that there are about 10 months out of each year when you can catch a Serie A game.

Serie A Teams | 2019/2020 Season

Which Serie A Team Should You See During Your Trip to Italy?

Visiting Florence? Consider a Fiorentina game. Naples? See Napoli (special instructions on getting Napoli tickets here).

Rome has two options, AS Roma and SS Lazio, if you really want to see a game in Rome and don’t care which team to see.

This, by the way, is blasphemy. Pick a side.

Same goes for seeing a game in Milan. Pick a side: AC Milan or Inter. Although, the Milan area has more opportunities for seeing Serie A matches during the 2019/20 season. Atalanta is a team from Bergamo, which is about 30 minutes away from Milan. It will also be playing its Champion League home games in San Siro, the stadium that Milan and Inter share. Meanwhile, Brescia, whose team was recently promoted to Serie A, is about an hour away from Milan.

If you are traveling in Emilia-Romagna, you are spoiled for choice of Serie A games. Bologna, Parma, Sassuolo, and SPAL are all located within the region.

Rounding out the rest of Serie A are Genoa and Sampdoria, both located in Genoa; Cagliari in Sardinia; Hellas Verona in Verona; Lecce in the southern region of Puglia; Udinese in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Turin has two teams: Torino and Juventus. Juventus has been the league champion for eight straight seasons and it plans to continue that streak with help from superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

The #CR7 Factor

As of July 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo — aka CR7 aka the best player in the world — became a player for Juventus, one of the Italy’s most storied and successful teams. Thanks (or no thanks) to Ronaldo, the world has started paying attention to Serie A like never before. So on the one hand, it’s now easier to watch Serie A on tv around the world. On the other, Juventus tickets, even for away games against less marketable teams, are difficult to come by.

Hopefully the Cristiano Ronaldo hype will die down soon. Juventus Stadium (aka Allianz Stadium) in Torino is one of the nicest, newest, and most organized stadiums in all of Italy and I highly recommend seeing a game there if you ever get the chance.

Juventus scarf - Seeing a soccer game in Italy
Juventus fan waves scarf during team song at Juventus Stadium in Torino

Champions League and Europa League Matches

It is also possible to see Champions League and Europa League games in Italy. The top four Serie A teams of the previous season compete in the Champions League against top finishers from other European premier leagues. The Europa League is secondary to the Champions League and is made up of the fifth and sixth place Serie A finishers from the previous season plus any teams that don’t make it out of the group stage of the Champions League.

Tickets for Champions League and Europa League matches are typically more expensive and harder to come by than regular season Serie A tickets. Those who have a fan loyalty card (available for purchase from TicketOne) get first dibs on tickets for Champions League and Europa League matches. You will also see tickets for these matches available on secondary ticket sites like ViaGoGo and StubHub.

Other Types of Leagues and Matches

Most of the time when people ask me about soccer games in Italy, they are asking me about Serie A games. But there are other types of matches and other leagues to watch.

Lega B and Below

Lega B, the secondary league, has a season that runs about the same length as that of Serie A. The clubs of Lega B compete for a chance to be promoted to Serie A. The top three teams get promoted each year while the bottom three Serie A teams get relegated to Serie B. Meanwhile, the bottom three teams of Serie B get sent down to Serie C. I’ve flirted with Serie B fandom over the years and love the fact that it feels like back-to-basics, in-the-trenches, no-flash football.

If you really like no-flash football, then there are the Serie C and Serie D leagues, which are usually contested by teams in much smaller Italian towns. The Serie C, also known as Lega Pro, is split into three groups (Girone A, Girone B, Girone C) of 20 teams each. Serie D, the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti, fields 166 teams split among nine groups.

Seriously, there’s a lot of soccer being played in Italy.

Tournaments and Friendlies

I love Italian football but I can hardly wrap my head around the idea behind the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana, two seemingly superfluous competitions. But hey, it means more soccer for everyone.

If you’d like to read about how the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana work, feel free to read this. By the way, the Supercoppa in recent years has been played outside of Italy as a way to market Serie A. So that competition is not really relevant to those of us who want to see an Italian league soccer match in Italy.

Finally, there are friendliesamichevoli in Italian. You can learn more about what friendlies will be played during the year by looking at the website of the Italian team you are interested in seeing. I’ve seen two friendlies in Rome, with AS Roma as the host team. Both matches were festive and, er, friendly, were sparsely attended, and tickets were relatively inexpensive.

The Italian National Team – Gli Azzurri and Le Azzurre

The Italian National Team (Nazionale di Calcio dell’Italiana) is affectionately known as Gli Azzurri (the Azures) after the blue jerseys they typically wear during competition. You may be lucky to visit Italy during a time when the Nazionale is playing, either for a qualifier or tournament match for the World Cup or Euro Cup or as an exhibition or friendly match. You can purchase tickets for a Nazionale match through the secondary market (links listed below) or from the FIGC, the governing body of Italian national football. This includes tickets for the men’s team and the women’s national team (Le Azzurre); U-16, U-17, and U-18 squads, and the national futsal team.

EuroCup 2020

Qualifiers for EuroCup 2020 are now underway. The UEFA European Football Championship will be played in cities across Europe, including in Rome at Stadio Olimpico. As of October 2019, Italy has qualified for the EuroCup. Tickets for the Euros will go on sale in December 2019.

Juventus Stadium crowd - Seeing a soccer game in Italy
Juventus Stadium crowd

How to Get Tickets to a Soccer Match in Italy

Should I Purchase My Tickets Before I Go?

If you want to see a soccer game while you are traveling in Italy, it is best to purchase your tickets online before you go. Go directly to the website of the team you want to see to view their game schedule or view the complete Serie A schedule and check it against your travel itinerary. Note that the team listed first is the home team.

In my experience, it is much easier and often cheaper to purchase tickets directly from the club as they have more control over their tickets. But not all Serie A teams make their tickets available for purchase on their website. In this case, you will need to buy your ticket via TicketOne or VivaTicket, both of which are authorized ticketing sites for Serie A, or from a ticket resale site like ViaGoGo or StubHub. Details below.

Can I Buy Tickets at the Stadium?

Of course, if you are a casual fan, you can wait to purchase your tickets in person. Most teams have a store in the city center where you can buy tickets (if any are still available). Stadium ticket counters typically open only on match day, about two to three hours before kick-off.

A secondary marketplace for soccer games also exists. I have used ViaGoGo to search for and ultimately purchase tickets for Italian football matches. StubHub also tends to have a large inventory of Serie A tickets for sale. Though I have never used the latter for Serie A tickets, I have used the service for the purchase of tickets to other events.

Find and Purchase Serie A Tickets

The following links go directly to the clubs’ websites and to the secondary ticket marketplaces on ViaGoGo and StubHub. Please note that this list includes affiliate links, through which I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Is It Safe to Buy Tickets from a Secondary Reseller?

Two of the best-known ticket resale sites for Italy soccer tickets is ViaGoGo, which I have used to purchase Serie A tickets with success, and StubHub, which I have used in the past but not for soccer tickets. You can expect a mark-up on tickets, as well as additional purchasing fees.

While I have not had any issues purchasing tickets from a secondary seller, I know that others have. To ease buyers’ fears, ViaGoGo has a detailed Buyers’ Guarantee:

“Buyers are guaranteed to receive valid tickets in time for the event. If a problem arises, viagogo will step in to provide comparable replacement tickets or a refund.”

The StubHub Promise, called FanProtect, offers a 100% guarantee on every order.

What is a Tessera del Tifoso (Fan Loyalty Card) and Do I Need One?

TicketOne, Serie A’s authorized online ticket seller, requires you to have a tessera del tifoso, or fan loyalty card, if you want to purchase tickets. Likewise, if you want to see your favorite club at an away game and sit in your team’s area, you will need to have a fan loyalty card.

Procuring a tessera del tifoso takes about 3-4 weeks and you can do it directly on the TicketOne website. As of this writing, there are only 19 clubs across Serie A/B that offer their loyalty cards through TicketOne. So the process is not particularly practical if you are a casual fan.

But, if you want to know more, AS Roma fan site Chiesa di Totti has more information on the tessera del tifoso history and process.

AS Roma Curva Sud - Seeing a soccer game in Italy
AS Roma Curva Sud

Additional Ticket and Fan Experience Resources

In the process of writing and updating this post, I have come across several resources for purchasing tickets. If the team websites or ViaGoGo doesn’t work for you, here are some other ideas. If you know of any other resources to add to this list, please get in touch.

  • If you want help purchasing tickets to a Napoli game, Michele in Naples can help. @getnapoliticket is his twitter handle. He is able to help fans purchase home and away tickets for a small fee.
  • For Juventus fans, contact Maurizio at Around Turin for information on getting tickets and going to a game (and other pre-game festivities) with other Juve fans.

Other Things to Consider When Seeing a Soccer Game in Italy

When Is the Soccer/Football Played in Italy?

Italy’s professional football leagues play from approximately the end of August until the end of May. The majority of Serie A matches are played on Sunday, with a few others played on Saturday and Monday. Most Serie B games are played on Saturdays, with a few matches taking place on Friday and Sunday. Other leagues also typically play on the weekend.

Champions League and Euro League play takes place from mid-September to mid-June. These games are usually held on weekday evenings so as to accommodate the league schedules of the participating teams.

There are rare occasions when Serie A and the lower leagues play in the middle of the week, usually in the run-up to a holiday weekend. It is rare that matches are held on major holidays, such as Christmas, so that players, coaches, refs, and fans can all spend time with their families.

There are built-in breaks throughout the regular season for “international breaks.” These are when qualifying players play with their respective national teams for Euro Cup or World Cup qualifiers.

Here are quick links to some schedules:

Is it safe to see a soccer game in Italy?

I have felt very safe at all games that I have attended and I have felt safe taking my kids, too. But that doesn’t mean that all games and all stadiums are safe at all times. Use your best judgment. For example, don’t wear the shirt of the opposing team if you are sitting on the home side.

Note that all soccer game tickets in Italy must be associated with a name and you will have to show your ID at the stadium entrance.

Is there food to eat at the stadium?

While Italy is all about food, it is an afterthought at a stadium. There are no BBQ restaurants overlooking centerfield, for example. There are, however, a few stands within the stadiums that sell a few items – hot dogs or chips or crackers. Nothing too fancy. Beer, soda, and water are usually available at these stands and may also be sold by vendors wandering the stadium seats. Of course, as is the case at most sporting events, there will be food vendors outside the stadium both before and after game, perhaps selling the local street snack, pizza, sandwiches, etc.

Can you buy team gear at the stadium?

It depends. I haven’t had the chance to visit every stadium in Italy, so I don’t know what the gear situation is. I recall on visits to Stadio Olimpico in Rome and Juventus Stadium in Torino that there were small stands inside the stadium that sold official gear (and no shortage of vendors outside these stadiums selling replica shirts, scarves, and other products). Most Italians teams tend to rely on official team stores, usually located in the city center, to sell team merchandise. So, if you want to look like a fan while you’re at the game, it’s best to buy your gear beforehand at a team store or online.

Do you have other questions about soccer in Italy?

I would love to answer your questions about Italian soccer. Email me at [email protected] or contact me here.

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19 Comments

  • Ats
    8 July 2019 at 7:57 am

    Hi, we will be between Rome/Florence in the last week in August. When will the game schedules be released? I’m trying to organise a ticket for my husband. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      8 July 2019 at 8:52 am

      Thank you for the question. The 2019-20 Serie A season will start on 24 August. Unfortunately, the schedule won’t be released until the end of July (29-30).

      I have just updated the post to include this information.

      Reply
  • Ataia
    8 July 2019 at 11:33 pm

    Thanks so much. Is there any alerts I can subscribe to when they are released or good websites to try and get tickets?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      14 July 2019 at 9:54 pm

      I would check the individual clubs’ twitter, Facebook, or Instagram feeds for updates. Many of them also have their own apps. Other places to get Serie A/Italian soccer alerts and news in English include ESPN and Italian Football TV (their IFTV Instagram feed is better than their other feeds, in my opinion). For ticket sites, take a look at the ones mentioned in the post: ViaGoGo and TicketOne.it.

      Reply
  • Joe
    9 August 2019 at 5:42 am

    I am planning on attending juve v Napoli game on Aug 31. Is it necessary to have a Juventus card to enter the Juventus Stadium?

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      9 August 2019 at 6:06 am

      Hi, Joe. No it is not necessary to have a Juventus card for the stadium. I have been to a game there and did not need a card to purchase tickets or enter the stadium. Make sure that when you go to enter the stadium at the entrance designated on your ticket (e.g., K gate, or whatever). You have to enter the stadium at the gate designated for the area that you are sitting in. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • BJH
    9 August 2019 at 5:57 am

    We are two women that played soccer in the USA 20 years ago (at the age of 40 — so you figure out how old we are). We want to see a game in Rome while we are there. What section should we sit in that will be safe 🙂
    I don’t see tickets for sale on the Lecce or Lazio website. When do they sell the tickets? I see the tickets for sale on StubHub and ViaGoGo, but they do not state row/seat numbers. Is all seating in an assigned seat? Or are they all general admission and fight for a seat?? Thanks for the help and any additional info you can give 🙂

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      9 August 2019 at 6:11 am

      Hi there, BJ. I’m not sure why the tickets are not listed on the teams’ sites. Perhaps all of the ones available have already been bought up, thus the only tickets are now on the broker sites. If buying on one of those sites, you should be able to see what section the tickets are for – it is NOT general admission seating. As for where to sit, I feel safe in Stadio Olimpico (the stadium shared by Roma and Lazio). But you should probably avoid Curva Sud (Roma) and Curva Nord (Lazio), where the ultras of each team sits. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Ataia
    9 August 2019 at 10:23 am

    We got tickets to see a game in Rome, yay!! We have my 2 year old son with us, can he sit in our lap without a ticket? I didn’t buy him a ticket since he is so young.

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      9 August 2019 at 11:31 am

      Good for you! Not sure if you are going to a Roma or Lazio game, but here is the policy for Roma. It’s likely this is standard across Serie A.

      “Kids that are under 1 metre/3.28ft height have the right of a free access, otherwise you have to purchase a ticket.”

      Other FAQs at this link: https://www.asroma.com/en/tickets/tickets-faq

      Reply
  • Andy C
    20 August 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for this article. I’m interested in attending the Bologna vs Ac Milan match in December at Bologna.

    However, I’m wondering if you have any guidance on how to get tickets for the away team? I am an AC Milan supporter, and won’t want to be out of place in the general home crowd.

    Any guidance appreciated!

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      20 August 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Hi, Andy. Thanks for writing. If you want to buy a ticket for an away game, you usually will need a fan loyalty card. See the details above in the post. For AC Milan specific questions, I would contact (+39) 02 622 845 45 or write to [email protected]. I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  • Michael Holler
    27 August 2019 at 5:11 am

    Hello! I was confused as where to and how to buy tickets for serie matches. I am wanting to buy tickets to multiple games. I have already purchased tickets to the Italy v Greece Euro 2020 match on October 12 in Rome from Viagogo and they said that I am able to print out the tickets only a week before as that is when they send me the PDF. I was also looking to buy tickets to the Torino v Napoli match on October 6 off Torino’s website since I will be staying in Turin but I was confused to where it says tickets only go on sale a week prior to the match. Are you able to buy online and print at home for those? Or do you go to the box office to purchase them? This confused me as I was able to buy tickets from Viagogo 2 months prior for the Italy v Greece game but I can only buy in a week advance for Torino. How does this work and are the Viagogo tickets legit? (PS I’m sorry for all the questions but I’m really confused and just want reliable tickets 🙂 Also if you could help could you help me with tickets to Modena v Fermana Oct 21 and I can’t decide between Sassuolo v Inter Milan Oct 20 or Parma v Genoa Oct 20. All 3 games we are staying in Bologna but Bologna FC is playing away the time we are there. I am a really big soccer fan so I am trying to see many games! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Michael Holler
    28 August 2019 at 3:33 am

    Hello! Your site is very helpful and has some good tips! However I have a couple questions about tickets and matches. 1. I just bought tickets to Euro 2020 Italy v Greece for Oct 12 off Viagogo. When I look to buy tickets on Torino’s webiste, it says tickets are only on sale the week prior to the match. So I was just wondering how was I able to buy tickets to the Euro 2020 game. Also I was wondering if you could help with a few other games with the ticket process. Torino v Napoli Oct 6, Modena v Fermana Oct 21, and I can not decide between Sassuolo v Inter Oct 20 or Parma v Genoa on Oct 20. Which match would be the easiest to attend as I am staying in Bologna. Thanks! Have a good day!

    Reply
  • Pelle Johansen
    28 October 2019 at 8:03 am

    hi. Do i need a fan card to see the torino(torino-juve) derby this weekend from the home section(among torino fans) i am not a fan of either team i just want to enjoy the derby

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      29 October 2019 at 9:12 am

      Hi Pelle, You should not need a fan card to buy tickets for the home section. You can buy tickets via Torino FC. Enjoy!

      Reply
  • Dan Youngberg
    10 November 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Thanks for this great guide! I’ll be in Italy from 3/27/2020 to 4/3/2020 and I can’t seem to find any games then. I’m guessing I’ve inadvertently booked my trip over one of the “international breaks.” Am I correct? Are there any options during that time?

    I’ve been to Europe twice and was fortunate to go to quality soccer matches each time (PSG in Feb 2019, and Ajax in April 2019) and I would love to go to a game while in Italy. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Melanie Renzulli
      12 November 2019 at 4:25 pm

      Hi, Dan. Thanks for reading. Unfortunately, yes…it looks like you will be visiting Italy during an “international break.” The playoff semi-finals for the Euro Cup will take place from 26-28 March 2020, with play-off finals from 29-31 March. The match-ups for those have not yet been determined, so I can’t say whether there will be any games in Italy at this time. Stay tuned!

      Reply

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