Have a feeling that your Italian is much too academic? You should have no trouble enriching your vocabulary at the one of the local football matches. You are sure to learn the latest and greatest of insults, and songs directed towards the referees and the opposite team. As I tend to support Inter, I was particularly amused by the Inter Ultras chant of "tortellini e pompini" against the Bologna fans. Just remember two simple words Forza Bologna and you should come out just fine. Despite the sometimes pernicious atmosphere, a Sunday spent at the stadium is usually a good time.
The football team of Bologna was founded in 1909. They got their first stadium in 1927, the "Littoriale". The name stems from the "fascio littorio" ( the symbol of Fascism) since the construction of the stadium was promoted by Leandro Arpinati, fascist mayor of Bologna and president of the FIGC (Italian football federation).
The walls were made with the typical red Bolognese brick and the arch windows contributed to make an appreciated building; an ulterior particularity was conferred, apart from the link to the longest portico of the world (the portico of San Luca), from the construction of the tower of Maratona in the sector opposite to the stands.
The capacity of the "Littoriale" was huge: 50,100 places, an absolute record for the 20s.
With the fall of the fascist regime the stadium changed time, becoming "Stadio Comunale". Moreover, since the city had expanded the stadium was now sorrounded by a big residential area, and the idea of building a new stadium in a zone more on the outskirts made its way. But somehow the project wasn't developed and nothing was done: the "Comunale" stayed in its place and until today it is still hosts Bologna’s home matches.
The name changed again, becoming "Dall'Ara", from the name of the great president of Bologna for 30 years, from 1934 to 1964.
More recently, the Bolognese stadium was greatly renewed on an architectural level in occasion of the 1990 World Cup and the capacity was expanded .
There is another big sport in Bologna too, namely basket. There have been two big basket-teams in Bologna, but summer 2003 one of the teams went bankrupt and disappeared.
I've never seen Bologna basket play at home, but I saw them in Milano. Not my favourite-sport, but still interesting.
The most awaited and important game in Bologna every season is the derby against Modena. For both sets of supporters that game could save the whole season.
Last season Modena unfortunately went down in the Serie B, which means that there won't be a derby this season. The closest team to Bologna now will be Parma, but that's not the same thing really.
Other big games in Bologna are the matches against Milan, Juventus, Inter and Roma.
The faithful Bologna-supporters stands in the Curva Costa, led by a number of different groups. Among the most famous are the “Forever Ultras”, “Mods” and the female-group “Girls”. Being such a big curva I must say that the atmosphere at Dall’Ara isn’t the best, but it’s still nice to see a game in Bologna. At least as long as it isn’t raining, that is, since the majority of the stadium has no roof…
Stadio Dell’Ara was rebuilt for the World Cup 1990, and takes a mass of almost 40 000 spectators. Normally not sold out, but against the big teams as Inter, Juventus and Milan and the derby against Modena, it might sometimes be a bit hard to find tickets on matchdays. The stadium is named after the historical president, Renato Dall’Ara, who was the president of Bologna 1934-1964. The last year with him at the board Bologna won their last Scudetto, league-title, after a dramatic play-off against Inter. Mr Dall’Ara never got to see this game, as he died just days before the last game of the season, during a meeting with the Inter-president Moratti, to prepare the big game.
After playing in the third division as late as 1994/95, Bologna now again has a team in the Serie A. With players like Giuseppe Signori, Roberto Baggio, Emil Kostadinov and Kenneth Andersson they had found their position around 7-11 in the Serie A after that, and 98/99 they reached as far as the semifinal in the Uefacup.
The Bologna that plays 2004/05 are more young, led by the “new Zinedine Zidane” Mourad Meghni. Other famous players are the goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca.
See if Bologna is playing home and go see the game.
The Bologna stadium (Stadio Renato Dall'Ara) was inagurated May, 29th 1927.