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Official Review by Stefano Romagnoli, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Latina is a city founded in 1932, under the name of Littoria, and near the city centre is Stadio Domenico Francioni. The facility hosts the home matches of the Unione Sportiva Latina Calcio, a club founded in 1945, and one that plays, for the 2013–14 season, in Serie B, the second level of the Italian football.
The construction of the stadium began in 1932, and ended a little over two years later in 1935, when it was inaugurated. The structure was heavily bombed during the Second World War, and was restored in 1955. In the summer of 2013, the facility was the subject of restyling to meet the needs that the new league demanded. The total capacity is now 8,000 seats (1,500 for the visiting team's fans).
On August 31, 2013, Latina hosted their first game in Series B, where they drew Avellino 1-1. The first Serie B victory came on September 28 of that year when Latina bested Brescia 2-0.
Since 1996, the facility is named Domenico Francioni, former president of the "black and blue". The list of champions who played at least once on the pitch of Francioni includes Diego Armando Maradona, Alessandro Altobelli, Paolo Maldini, and Roberto Baggio.
In the past, the facility also hosted events not related to football, such as the concert by British rock band Deep Purple on July 11, 2006, as part of their world tour, “Rapture of the Deep in the World”.
(Note: all exchange rates are as of the time of this posting, October 2013.)
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 section has a food court. We tried one in the Tribuna Centrale. For a hot dog and a Coke (served in paper cups), we spent €6 ($8.10). At the food court, you can buy different types of sandwiches, ice cream, coffee, water, and soft drinks.
It is easy to identify Stadio Domenico Francioni. Behind the Tribuna Centrale stands a tall tower in the shape of a mushroom, and is visible from most of the city. Also walking along Via Duca del Mare in the direction of Piazzale Prampolini, you can recognize the monumental entrance to the stadium with its six columns, the inscription "Campo Sportivo D. Francioni", and flags both with the colors of Italy (green, white, and red) and of Unione Sportiva Latina Calcio (black and blue).
The stadium consists of curved seating sections on both ends, and by one set of covered grandstands (Tribuna Centrale and Tribuna Laterale) and one area of bleachers (Distinti Gradinata) along the pitch. On the south side of the stadium (Curva Ospiti) is a metal bleacher section reserved for supporters of the visiting team. Everywhere, black and blue colors dominate, and in the bleachers, some white seats form the words "U.S. Latina". The view is good from every section of the stadium. The seats closest to the field of play are those in the grandstands.
Stadio Domenico Francioni is located near the centre of Latina. Around the facility, there are cafés (where the fans can be found at the end of the match), pizzerias, ice cream shops, and many other vendors.
The most fervent fans of Latina Calcio follow the game from the Curva Nord. During the match, they serenade players with songs, along with waving both scarves and black and blue flags. The most important rivalry the team has is with Frosinone Calcio ("Derby del Basso Lazio").
It is quite easy to get to Stadio Domenico Francioni coming from Rome (the distance is about 70 km). The distance from the railway station of Latina Scalo is about 10 km. At the train station, there are public bus service links to the city centre as well as taxi service.
The ticket prices to watch a single match during the 2013-14 Serie B season are:
- Tribuna Laterale A or B: from €12.50 to €25 ($17 to $33.90)
- Tribuna Centrale Nord or Sud: from €15 to €30 ($20.30 to $40.65)
- Tribuna Centrale VIP: €80 ($108.40)
- Curva Norda and Curva Ospiti: from €6 to €12 ($8.10 to $16.25)
- Distinti Gradinata A, B, or C: from €9 to €18 ($12.20 to $24.40)
There are reductions for children from 5 to 14 years old, and for seniors over 65 years.
Latina, one of the youngest cities in Italy, was founded in June 1932, under the name of Littoria. In 1946, the city changed its name to Latina. In the city boundaries, there is part of the Circeo National Park, one of the oldest natural protected areas in Italy.
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