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Official Review by Stefano Romagnoli, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Stadio Comunale Picchi is the main facility for football in Livorno city. The building houses the home matches of AS Livorno Calcio, a club that has existed for nearly 100 years, founded in 1915.
Since 1990, the stadium is dedicated to Armando Picchi, born in Livorno and defender of the “Grande Inter” with which he won three national championships, two European titles, and two world titles for the club. Armando Picchi died prematurely at the age of 36, and he took his first steps as a professional football player wearing the shirt of Livorno. In the city, there is also a football team called Armando Picchi.
The structure was designed and built for the return of AS Livorno in the Italian Serie A league, 1933/1934, and was originally named Stadio Comunale Edda Ciano Mussolini. The official inauguration took place on the occasion of Italian B vs Austria B match on March 24,1935. However, the first game played by the home team was Livorno vs Fiorentina, October 8, 1933, and finished with a score of 3-0. Turchi, on a free kick, was the first player to score a goal in the new stadium.
During the end of World War II, American military troops in Italy (still not far from the city there is the American military “Camp Darby”) used the facility for football and baseball and called this venue Yankee Stadium.
Since 2013, a part of the stadium, the staircase, is dedicated to Piermario Morosini, a player for AS Livorno Calcio who died in April 14, 2012, during the match against Pescara in Serie B.
The stadium was designed by Raffaello Brizzi, head of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Florence, and it is the first public work built in reinforced concrete in Livorno.
At the beginning of the 1980s, Torre di Maratona was demolished. Measures have been taken over the last decade to improve the safety and capacity of the system. Today, the total capacity of the Armando Picchi stadium is 19,238 spectators.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Each sector of the Armando Picchi stadium has its own food court (including the reserved area for the visiting fans).
Look for many of the offerings under the Tribuna Centrale. The menu offers everything from coffee to beer, from liqueurs (try the Ponce alla livornese, beverage derived from the punch) to Coke products. Then there are sandwiches, a variety of cakes, ice cream, and snacks.
Stadio Armando Picchi has a ring shape. The seating sections are divided into: Tribuna Vip, Tribuna Coperta, Tribuna Laterale, Curva Nord, Curva Sud, Gradinata, Tribunette di Gradinata, and Settore Ospiti.
A glass fence runs all around the field, dividing the public from the players, but it does not restrict the view. Between the field and the stands is the old track for athletics built in 1987.
The teams' entrance takes place by a tunnel that opens between the playing field and the athletics track. The distance between the two stands and the field is about 10 meters. The distance between the two curves and the field is about 25 meters.
The presence of old photos on the walls of AS Livorno Calcio and pennants of other teams that have played here help to create a nostalgic atmosphere under the Tribuna Centrale.
Some of the preliminary soccer matches for the 1960 Rome Olympics were held in this venue, adding to the historic significance (Yugoslavia won the gold medal for football for these games).
The stadium is not far from the city center, about 20 minutes when walking. I recommend that you eat a typical dish while in Livorno, the cacciucco for example, after the match. Cacciucco is a soup with different types of fish, and is a staple of Livorno.
Stadio Comunale Armando Picchi is in the Ardenza neighborhood, the southern suburbs of the city and the area where the major sports facilities of Livorno (including the Ippodromo Caprilli and the Palasport Macchia) are located.
The area is characterized by numerous elegant villas with two or three floors above which stand out the unmistakable towers for stadium lighting.
At about 500 meters from the stadium there is the Naval Academy, a school founded in 1881 where the officers of the Italian Navy are educated. In the neighborhood, there are many restaurants and pizzerias. Wander around and find a spot that suits you after the match.
The most passionate fans of AS Livorno Calcio follow the matches from the Curva Nord. In this sector, you'll find amaranth banners, flags, and scarves dominating the colorscape. Throughout the match, fans incite their favorites with chants and songs.
The roar that the teams receive when they emerge from the tunnel before the match is tremendous. The stadium announcer gives the name of the home team goal-scorer, and that name is repeated in unison by the fans.
Getting to Stadio Armando Picchi is quite simple. By car, coming to Livorno from the Firenze-Pisa-Livorno (FiPiLi) motorway or from the A12 (Genova-Roma), just follow the signs for Variante Aurelia and go toward Livorno Sud.
There is no shortage of space to park the car from Viale Italia to Via Salvator Allende. Parking for Settore Ospiti is in Via dei Pensieri, located in the La Rosa neighborhood La Rosa.
By public transport, buses leave to Ardenza from the Livorno Central Station.
In the city, there are seven official retailers from AS Livorno Calcio, but you can also buy tickets for Stadio Armando Picchi online. Ticket prices range from a minimum of €9 for Curva Nord, up to a maximum of €85 Euros for Tribuna Vip.
Before each match, it is useful to check the club's website to see if there are any reductions in pricing or special promotions.
Livorno is one of the youngest cities in Tuscany, but there are places and buildings of interest. All of these sites help to make a trip to Livorno special. They are:
- The Fortezza Vecchia, site of numerous cultural and musical events, and the Fortezza Nuova, with its public park.
- The La Venezia neighborhood, built during the 17th Century, is crossed by canals to mimic the appearance of Venice.
- The Terrazza Mascagni, with its checkered floor consisting of about 35,000 black and white tiles overlooking the sea, is well worth a visit for tourists, as well.
Member Review by sanderkolsloot on Jun 14, 2016
The stadium is somewhat outside the city centre, with no real pre match scene around. In the stadium itself, you have ok seats, no real atmosphere and matching fans/food.
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