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Official Review by Stefano Romagnoli, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The Artemio Franchi Stadium is the largest sports center in Florence and the scene of the home matches of Fiorentina.
Wanted by the Marquis Luigi Ridolfi da Verrazzano and designed by the architect Pier Luigi Nervi, it was built in two steps between 1930 and 1932. Officially opened on September 13, 1931, during the match Fiorentina vs Admira Vienna, it was initially dedicated to Giovanni Francesco Berta and then it was called with the generic name of “Stadio Comunale” after World War II and, from November 1991, it was named Artemio Franchi.
Since its inception it has invoked the attention of athletes and designers due to some architectural solutions considered innovative at the time; the spiral ramps to access some areas, the coverage of the main grandstand without intermediate supports, the 55 meter tower that stands in the middle of the “Tribuna Maratona”.
The venue has hosted some matches of the World Cup in 1934, Olympic Games in 1960, and European Football Championships in 1968. After restructuring to eliminate the athletics track where Sebastian Coe on June 10th 1981 had marked the world record in the 800-meters, the venue also hosted the World Cup in 1990.
The stadium has also been host to some Italian rugby matches of Six Nations. In particular Italia vs Australia played on November 24th 2012.
Throughout its history it has been the site of major concerts: Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Vasco Rossi, etc.
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".
The prices of food and drink are in accordance with other Italian stadiums.
For coffee we spent €1, and for a sandwich €3.50.
Fans can buy popcorn, chips, ice cream, cakes, and various drinks (that are served in paper cups, because inside the stadium bottles and cans are prohibited). During the game some sellers pass through the spectators.
Outside the stadium, but only during competitions, there are peddlers of typical sandwiches; sandwiches with "porchetta", "trippa" and "lampredotto".
Before each competition the speakers spread the anthem of the home team, "Ale Ale Fiorentina". The audience participates by clapping to the rhythm of the song.
The covered areas are those with access from viale Manfredo Fanti. Both curves and the "Tribuna Maratona" are uncovered.
The minimum distance between the playing field and the areas of "Parterre Tribuna" and "Parterre Maratona" is only about 2 or 3 meters.
The area reserved for fans of the visiting team is located between "Tribuna Maratona" and "Curva Ferrovia".
A lighted board is behind "Curva Ferrovia".
The most awaited matches are those versus Juventus, Milan, Inter, Roma and Lazio.
The stadium is located in the neighborhood "Campo di Marte", at the eastern outskirts of Florence. In addition to Artemio Franchi, in this part of the town there are the sports hall (basketball, volleyball, etc.), the stadium for athletics, swimming pools and other sports facilities.
Furthermore, there are restaurants and pizzerias, pubs and cafes, as well as guest accommodations. In conclusion, it's a great place to wait for the start of the match or spend time out of the stadium.
Fans that are the most passionate about the team are in "Curva Fiesole". During some special occasions they are the authors of suggestive choreographies by using colorful flags and banners.
The Fiorentina's fans - these are the warmest of Italy - stand out because they wear t-shirts, caps and scarves colored in purple (gadgets that fans can buy in the benches outside the stadium).
Reaching the stadium is very simple.
The railway station "Firenze Campo di Marte" is about 500 meters away. Local public transport, called "Ataf", links from the city center to this neighborhood.
For those who come from out of town and travel by car, my advice is to leave the A1 highway at "Firenze Sud" (coming both from Naples and Milan) and follow the signs for "Stadio".
It's more difficult to find parking especially when big matches are planned, so take the train if you can.
Ticket prices range from a minimum of €17 for curves and the area of visiting supporters, to a maximum of €140 for "Tribuna d'Onore".
In general, both in "Tribuna Centrale" and "Tribuna Maratona", ticket prices are much cheaper as we move in the direction of the two curves.
In the case of friendly matches, prices can drop to €5 or €10.
In Florence there is the Federal Technical Center of Coverciano, the venue of the Italian National football team as well as the Football Museum. The latter is open from Monday to Saturday, and on Sunday only by appointment.
There are plenty of other great choices for visitors including the "Ponte Vecchio" and "Campanile di Giotto", "Duomo" and "Palazzo Vecchio". Florence is truly one of the great tourist destinations.
It's raining and have you forgotten the raincoat? No problem, fans can buy one for €5 at the bar inside the stadium.
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