Italy’s Serie A is one of the most historically successful and internationally recognised soccer leagues in the world today. It is perhaps only eclipsed by England’s Premier League and Spain’s Primera Liga. Therefore, it is not surprising that millions of backpacking soccer fans are embarking on Serie A-themed tours around Italy, witnessing the high-class sporting action whilst submerging themselves in the sights and sounds of Italy’s most stunning and scintillating cities.
Not only are Serie A’s teams spread out beautifully within Italy but each club’s home city offers a distinctly different flavour. Therefore, following the path of the Serie A’s fixtures is not a bad way to explore Italy, especially if you are a sports fan. Of course, not everyone is going to be able to see every match and visit every city. So, for those interested in such a football tour of Italy, here are three locations and teams that are not to be missed.
Cagliari Calcio, Cagliari
Cagliari Calcio call the Stadio Comunale Sant’Elia its home. It hosted three matches during the 1990 FIFA World Cup and has existed since 1920. Nestled within the ancient city of Cagliari, it is not just this longstanding club that is brimming with history.
Above ground, this diverse city is known for its stunning Art Nouveau architecture and striking monuments. However, below ground, lie several remains of human settlements from thousands of years ago. Beneath Cagliari lies a Roman amphitheatre, a huge necropolis from the Carthaginian era and even a prehistoric Domus de Janas.
Situated on the coast of the autonomous Italian island of Sardinia, Cagliari has a stunning coastline which features one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, within the city centre, one will find several museums, theatres and libraries. Moreover, given this and the city’s historic underbelly, Cagliari is currently favourite to become the European Capital of Culture in 2019.
*photo credit: berlinrider
The winners of Serie B last season, Palermo has sadly failed to dominate the top Italian league in the same way. They languish mid-table, with odds of only 2000/1 in the Serie A betting to win the league. However, even if they lose the league, Palermo’s location is definitely a winner!
Palermo is located on the iconic island of Sicily and is known to be the cultural, touristic and economic capital. One of the largest Mediterranean cities, Palermo is known for its exceptionally sunny and warm weather.
Besides having a world-renowned collection of beautiful churches, ranging from Romanesque to Gothic to Baroque styling, Sicily is also known for its gastronomy and restaurants. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife that centres around Sicily’s long history involving live music.
The champions of Serie A in 2014, and favourite to repeat this feat, Juventus is a legendary soccer team. How appropriate then that the team is located within perhaps the most important city in northern Italy, with Turin being the capital of the Piedmont region.
With the Po River to its right, the Susa Valley behind it and the Alpine arch circling it, Turin boasts some truly awe-inspiring scenery and landscapes. Besides this natural beauty, Turin is known for its art galleries, opera houses and theatres. All built in a variety of styles, including Renaissance, Neoclassical and Rococo.
However, perhaps the most famous object within Turin is the controversial Shroud of Turin. This beautifully illustrated cloth depicts the image of Jesus Christ and is at the centre of a debate surrounding the authenticity of the claims that it was his burial cloth. With carbon-dating proving this false but a variety of other campaigners, such as Jeffrey Skurka, claiming otherwise.