Our journey begins with an evening walk to the Piazza Del Popolo to catch a tram to the Stadio Olimpico. The pregame jitters are starting to get to me as I realize I am going to my first European “calcio” match. The opportunity to see AS Roma play against Inter Milan in person is amazing. I watch these two teams play on TV all the time and now I get to scream at them in person. As we near the tram it is evident which one to get on, as a number of fans storm the carts wearing AS Roma scarves and jackets. We are soon dropped off and the entire flock of passengers exits toward the river. We are not sure where to go but they sure did, so we simply follow. The crowd moves across the river passing sale stand after sale stand full of Roma gear and soon out of nowhere the Stadio Olimpico is in sight. Thousands of fans were gathered around the gates, so we figured out what was happening, and prepared for a series of screenings that would impress TSA and homeland security. The intensity of the atmosphere and the reputation of a European “calcio” match started to live up to the hype at the main gate. With tickets in hand we stood in line in a crowd of hundreds, all trying to get through gates fit for a prison. After about forty-five minutes of squeezing through the crowd of irritated fans, them screaming, banging on the gates, the security guard getting to know my physical posture very well, and thirty feet later we were finally in the stadio. Kickoff had just happened so we ran inside to find our seats. We were greeted with the site of a beautiful green field and thousands of screaming fans bathed in red and orange. We got oriented and ran up the stairs to find our seats. We were seated right in the middle of this amazing energy feeding from the emotional fans. We all looked at each other with great smiles on our faces knowing we finally made it and it was unreal.
A.S. Roma 2-1 Inter Milan.