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A perfect sanctuary of the soccer
The most beautiful and for me the friendliest stadium of the world was inaugurated as a gift of Mr. Pirelli for AC. Milan on 19. September 1926.
San Siro is a perfect sanctuary of the soccer, home of the teams FC. Internazionale (Nerazzurri - the Black-Blues) and AC. Milan (Rossoneri - the Red-Blacks)
The size of the playground 105x68 metres, while the stadium is fit for the reception of 85.433 visitors simultaneously. The corridor system enmeshes the two-storey building totally helping in the spectators' traffic.
The Milan arena received its name from the former legend, Giuseppe Meazza in 1990, who was playing for both team, but the fans call the stadium quite simple San Siro.
And when the hell gets away... the fanatic fans set the stadium on fire with Greek fires, the inevitable flags and banners recall the mood of the hell really. Milan is not a polite host: eighty thousand spectators bellow at every domestic goal, eighty thousand spectators sing their melodies, and eighty thousand spectators do not spare the adversary.
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San Siro - museum
San Siro's museum is not very big, but I found it excellent and very interesting. It is divided into two parts, one about Inter and one about AC Milan. There is a collection of cups and trophies, as well as a large number of old shirts. It was exciting to spot many famous and familiar names on the shirts, and most of them had signatures on them, too. In addition, you can see a lot of memorabilia of the two clubs, like newspaper articles, old fan items and so on.
What I liked was that, while there were also sections about the history of the clubs, most of the museum concentrated on more recent history. As I am still so young, I cannot remember anything football-related that happened more than fifteen years ago, and I also don't know much about it, so for me it was much more exciting to see shirts and other things of players who were active during the last decade.
Picture 1: A wooden model of the stadium, and a poster which pays homage to Andrij Schewtschenko
Picture 2: The CL cup from 2003 - amazing to see it and to remember watching the match at home :-)
You can see more pictures and explanations in this travelogue about the museum
Admission fee: 13€ adults, 10€ concession - this includes the tour of the stadium as well. When tours are not available, entry to the museum is 7€ adults and 5€ concession
Opening times: 10.00am to 06.00pm daily, but opening hours might change during match days
- Museum Visits
San Siro Stadium
Although there is so much to do in Milan, and there were numerous of other alternatives, it was a must for us to visit San Siro Stadium. The main reason for this was that somehow, AC Milan was the incentive for this trip, many many years ago... When I became a football fan in 2002, my mom and me were not particularly well and went through a tough time, but watching football always made us happy. When we watched the Champions League final in 2003, we said that one day we would travel to Milan and see where AC Milan was from... Dreams like that kept us going, and how wonderful that more than nine years later, it was possible that this dream came true!!! :-)
Of course now, that I am a little older, I understand that AC Milan is a little disputed politically seen, but the story is what it is.
San Siro is the home of both AC Milan and Inter, so visiting it is a highlight for admirers of both clubs. We visited the museum and also did a guided tour through the stadium, and both things do each club justice: The museum has displays and areas about both of them, and during the tour you can see the changing rooms of both clubs, and are given information about each of them.
More about the tour and the museum in the following tips!
Although the stadium is usually called San Siro, this is actually not its real name. It was its name in the past, but in 1980 the name was changed to Guiseppe Meazza Stadium, after an Italian player who played for both AC Milan and Inter during his career and who won the world cup twice. According to our tour guide, Milan fans continue saying San Siro, while Inter fans adopted the new name - this due to the reason that Meazza only played for Milan very shortly, but spent most of his career as a player of Inter.
The stadium itself was first constructed in 1925, in the suburb of San Siro. The first match took place in 1926, it was AC Milan against Inter. In the beginning, the stadium was home only to AC Milan, but in 1947, it became Inter's home stadium, too. Over the decades, lots of renovations and additions have been made, the most important one in 1990 for the world cup. A new one is planned for 2013 or 2014, as our guide told us.
It is the biggest football stadium in Italy and seats 82,955 people.
Important matches held in this stadium were:
* Several games during the world cups of 1934 and 1990
* four UEFA cup finals in 1991, 1994, 1995 and 1997
* the 2001 Champions League final (FC Bayern München against FC Valencia, Bayern won)
It is a little strenuous to reach this stadium by public transport - you need to take metro line No. 1 to Lotto, but from there it is still a walk of about twenty minutes. There are no signposts, so make sure you know the directions!
San Siro - guided tour
Guided tours of the stadium start in the museum every fifteen minutes. You can just hang around in the museum and then take the tour that suits you when you are finished looking at the displays - there are no reserved time slots. I must admit that I don't think this system is very good. Because everybody can take the tour when they like, and tours don't get full up, the groups can be very large. I had read about this before, so I was prepared, but it was still a little shock when we see how big the group was when the tour started. There were about fifty or sixty people, so things were very slow. The guide was brilliant and really did his best to make the experience good and to please everyone, but it must be an incredibly hard job.
During the tour, we first visited the seating areas to have a view of the pitch, then we walked inside and saw the two different changing rooms. Unfortunately, because everything takes so long with such a big group, it all was rather stressed and we were not able to spend a lot of time in the changing rooms. It was still very interesting, though, and it was good that we could see the rooms of both Inter and AC Milan.
After this we visited the mixed zone, which is the place where the media are allowed to be and interviews and photographs are done before and after matches. We then walked through the VIP area and went close to the pitch again. It was not possible to walk through the tunnel leading to the pitch, but we saw it from above (see picture 5). This was the end of the tour.
Altogether, it was an interesting tour and we saw quite a lot of things, but as I said, being in such a big group meant that things went very slow and the guide had to yell all of the time because otherwise people would not have understood him. It was also very crowded most of the time.
I think the system in Old Trafford is much better. There, you need to reserve a time slot before you go, and group size is limited, which means that during the one hour the tour lasted, we saw a lot more and it was a much more relaxed experience. Still, the guide in San Siro really did his best, and the information he gave us was excellent. I must say that in the end, the tour was much better than I had expected it to be when I saw how big the group was.
To see the pictures I took in the changing rooms, please visit this travelogue.
The ultras of Milan and Inter are standing in the second “anello”, stage, in the curva. They are divided in different groups, who organize everything for the supporters, including away-trips and selling souvenirs.
The two biggest groups of Milan is the Fossa Dei Leoni and Brigate Rossoneri. They’re standing in the middle of the curva. A new group, that is growing bigger and bigger, is the Alternativo, who’s seated to the left when you enter the Curva Sud.
According to me, and a lot of other people, the Milan-supporters are the best in Italy. They make fantastic choreographies, and the atmosphere at 99 per cent of the Milan-games are great! The only negative thing with them might be that the last season's winning (Serie A and Champions League) has made the supporters a bit "tired" of winning. It's not as much fun as before, when they weren't used to win after some years without a title.
Anyway, the last choreographies have been even better than before, and the atmosphere is still great, so...
THE stadium - San Siro
San Siro is probably the most famous stadium in Italy. It takes a crowd of 85 700 spectators. San Siro was rebuilt for the World Cup 1990, and has by then three stages in three of the four stands. It’s only the “orange” stand that still has only two stages. San Siro is divided in four colours, which you can see on the chairs in the stands. Red and orange are the long-stands, while blue and green are the colurs in the short-side of the stadiums.
The supporters are standing in the curves. Milan has the blue side, second stage (Curva Sud) and Inter has the other side, the green one (Curva Nord). Also they are standing at the second stage.
The awaysupporters are standing in one of the corners, in the opposite curva, depending on which team of Milan and Inter they play against.
The successful team...
AC Milan is one of the world’s most famous clubs, with a great history, and a great supporter-scene. This year the club sold more than 50 000 season-tickets, and their medium-crowd is around 65 000. They won the Serie A-title 03/04, and the Champions League the year before that. The atmosphere at Milan-games are normally really, really, good, not depending if it’s a derby against Inter or a cupgame against Ancona.
The team is playing in red-black-shirts at home, and normally white away from Milano.
The chance to see a Milan-game when you’re at Milan is quite good, since they 2004 are playing in both Serie A, Champions League and the Italian cup.
Almost every year they are playing in one of the European cups.
Some of their most famous players are the ucrainian forward Andrej Shevchenko, the brasilian starlet Kaká, the dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf. Not to speak about the famous Italian defenders Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini.
And the born losers... :)
Being the “littlebrother” of Milano, life isn’t easy for the Inter-supporters. They haven’t won the league since 1989, which no opponents ever forgets to remind them about. The list of the managers who have been kicked by the fiery president Massimo Moratti is starting to get really long, and the supporters are looking so hard for some success.
The last thing the club won was actually the Uefacup 97/98, when they beat Lazio in the final. Spring 2002 they were so close to win the Italian league, but on the 5 of May they lost away to Lazio, and Juventus won the title instead. The 5th May is by the way another thing that the blueblack-supporters of Inter always gets reminded about by the opponents…
Still, being the “born loser” of Milano, Inter is a successful club. They are almost every year playing in one of the European cups, and is famous also far outside Europe.
Some of their most famous players are the brasilian forward Adriano, the Italian centertank Christian Vieri, the dutch midfielder Van der Meyde, and the crazy Italian defender Marco Materazzi.
The Inter-curva is one of the best in Italy, and at most of the Inter-games it’s a good atmosphere. Although all the years without a title has made them less good also in the singing-area.
Information about the games
In Italy the season starts in the beginning of September, and ends in May/June. Serie A contains 20 teams, where the majority of the games played on Sunday afternoon, 15.00. Two of the games in every turn is moved to Saturday. One is played at 18.00, and the other one at 20.30 in the evening. Then another game, mostly the biggest of the week, is played on Sunday evening, at 20.30.
Thanks to the fact that most teams are from the north of Italy it’s sometimes possible to see as many as three games during a weekend. One at Saturday evening, then another one at 15.00 on Sunday, in for example Brescia, Verona or Bergamo, and then the evening-game in Milano at 20.30. But make sure to check up the train-table before you go.
Matches you must see...
There are some special games every season that's more important than almost the rest of the season.
The derby Milan-Inter is the game the whole town is talking about weeks before. The atmosphere at that game is incredible and the choreographies by the two sets of supporters are amazing.
Only problem is to get a ticket...
The same is for the matches against Juventus. Both Milan and Inter always have a sold-out stadium against the arch rivals from Torino, and the atmosphere also here is great.
Another problem here is the incidents, that are more common than uncommon unfortunately. The supporters of Inter/Milan and Juventus definately don't like eachother.
Other good games to visit are Milan-Roma, Milan-Lazio, Milan-Sampdoria and Milan-Brescia.
For Inter the "friendship"-game against Lazio is always nice to see, plus Inter-Roma, Inter-Sampdoria and Inter-Atalanta.
Plus, of course, the big games in the European cups for both the teams!
In Milan there two of the most famous soccer teams in Italy and in the world:Milan & Inter.
For this reason you can often have the chance to see a great soccer match....for italian serie A or Champions league.
The stadium "S.Siro" and the atmosphere are really great and,especially on the best matches, it is an unbelievaable emotion!
Some advices: 1)Don't buy the ticket from people outside the stadium (bagarini) because they sell tickets for impossible prices (a third ring for 120 eurosand sometimes you risk to get a fake (the ticket could be not valid). If you have doubts give up to the match.
2) For the biggest events you usually have to buy tickets some days before the match (for milan matches go to the milan point in " piazza 24 maggio" close to city center.
Inter has more big groups than Milan, even if they are less members in each of them. The most important groups in the Curva Nord are Viking, Ultras, Irriducibili and Boys.
But then there are also a lot of smaller groups, not all of them "ultras"-groups.
The supporters in the Inter-curva are wellknown, both for their team's problem to winning titles, but also because they are a good group. Even if the atmosphere normally is better on Milan-games it's always good to see a Inter-game, thanks to the supporters.
They have always have problem with the choreographies, since brother Milan always have been better, but the last seasons also the choreograph-guys in the Curva Nord has managed to do some really amazing choreograpies!
I am not a huge soccer fan, but it's definitely growing on me. I've enjoyed several games at the San Siro stadium (now known as Meazza) watching mostly AC Milan matches. The best way to get there is to take the metro (towards Rho-Fiera) on the red line and get off at Lotto. If you're lucky (or unlucky) you'll be stuck with hundreds of football fans (tifosi) on the tube as well.
Do not be alarmed when you get off the train / out of the station and see rows of police vans and caribinieri lining the streets. Just a typical Saturday or Sunday evening at the football.
From the Lotto station it's still about a 15 or 20 minute walk to get to the stadium (on the way there you'll pass the horse-racing tracks (Ippodromo) on your right - look out for the giant statue of a horse in the entrance modelled on one of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings).
Otherwise there are bus services (but I wouldn't want to be mashed up against other sweaty bodies!!!).
Alternatively the number 16 tram takes you close to the stadium. Again very packed!
The stadium itself is quite interesting architecturally, but I what I like most about it is that the seating is very steep hence you can get a good view from almost anywhere. Plus because there aren't running tracks around the actual field, you're much closer to the action.
Football tickets can be bought over the internet, or in town if you're in Milan early enough. AC Milan tickets can be bought at Banca Intesa branches or else at the Milan Point store at Piazza XXIV Maggio (Tram No. 3 from the town centre). New rules state that you have to bring ID with you to the stadium, i.e. when you purchase tickets they will take down your info (e.g. your codice fiscale or passport no.) so the tickets are not trasferable. The last time I went (Nov 6. 2005) they just zapped my ticket as we went in stadium but didn't ask me for proof of identity).
I usually get seats in the 2nd Ring Red section. Bring binoculars of course... for me it's to see Filippo Inzaghi up close, heh heh.
Where the heart of football beats
Watching a football match in San Siro Stadium is a must if you like football. The ambiance, the acoustics, the size and many more things just make it an unforgettable experience. I used to live very close to San Siro and I had many chances of watching some incredible games there. If you come across a Champions League match, don't miss it.
San Siro Stadium Tour
Calling all sporting fans! Take a guided tour through San Siro Stadium, home to Italian and world famous Soccer teams, A.C. Milan and F.C. Inter.
Built in 1926, San Siro Stadium has undergone numerous renovations. Now reputed to be one of the most astounding sports buildings in the world, it holds a capacity of 85,000 people.
You'll visit the stadium's museum and site unique memorabilia as your English speaking guide recounts the glorious history surrounding the victories of A.C. Milan and F.C. Inter football clubs.
Before returning back to Milan by coach, choose to take home your own souvenir at the San Siro official merchandising store (optional).
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