Photos by Stefano Romagnoli Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
Stadio Luigi Ferraris Corso A. De Stefanis Genoa, Liguria 16139 Italy
Year Opened: 1911 Capacity: 36,599
The Unione Calcio Sampdoria was born on August 1, 1946 from the merger of two companies present in Genova from the late nineteenth century, the Andrea Doria and Sampierdarenese.
Even the colors of the club’s jersey is a legacy of the previous two teams: from Andrea Doria comes blue with white strip, from Sampdierdarenese the red and black strip. Also on the chest of the Sampdoria player is the coat of arms of the city of Genova, the shield of San Giorgo. The blucerchiati, nickname of the Sampdoria players, play their home games at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium.
The facility is located in the Marassi neighborhood.
Opened in 1933, six years after the start of work, the Ferraris stands on the site where the Genoa CFC played their home games dating back to 1911. Before 1933 the stadium was called Stadio Comunale di Via del Piano and the appearance was very different from what we see today.
The new stands in reinforced concrete replaced wooden ones. Next came the northern tier (home of Genoa fans), the southern tier (home of Sampdoria fans) and finally, in 1947 the distinct sector. The facility is named after Luigi Ferraris, Genoa CFC player and captain, who died during the First World War.
Between 1987 and 1989, the Ferraris was renovated to host the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The project of the new Ferraris bears the signature of the architect Vittorio Gregotti (who had already worked on the renovation of the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona).
The stadium has hosted two FIFA World Cup (1934 and 1990). The Italian national football team has played here 27 times, the first on December 22, 1912. Performances by noted musical artists include Bruce Springsteen, Frank Zappa and Lou Reed.
Food & Beverage 3
On the ground floor, under the Tribuna Centrale, there is a bar. You can buy drinks, even beer, but they are served in a paper cup. Savory or sweet snacks, including hot dogs are also available.
In the stadium there are other restaurant points: three for each tier (Nord and Sud), four in the Distinti sector, four in the Tribuna sectore. All are open for the big match, while only three remain open for games with less appeal.
Football in Italy arrived with the ships of the English merchants in the late nineteenth century. It is for this reason that the Luigi Ferraris is the oldest stadium in Italy still in use, and one that most resembles the British facilities. Genova is a city of trade and it was not uncommon in the early twentieth century to see British sailors play football not far from ships docked in the harbor.
The Ferraris stadium is rectangular and fully covered. At the four corners rise towers of color rosso Pompei, within them there are stairs to reach the various sections. The playing field, close to various sections and separated from them by a transparent barrier, is illuminated by the lights housed in the cover and over the towers.
There are two big screens; one between the Gradinata Nord and the Distinti, the other between the Tribuna Centrale and the Gradinata Sud.
The entrance to the pitch is from the side of Distinti. Dressing and press room are located on the opposite side of the Tribuna Centrale.
Genova is a city between the sea and the mountains. Marassi, is the neighborhood and Luigi Ferraris is often mistakenly referred to by the neighborhood.
Around the stadium there are numerous restaurants, not only Italian, and in the day of the match there are plenty of peddlers of sandwiches. Tip: Ask for pesto at any restaurant pasta. Pesto is a special sauce that is made in Genova with basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, pecorino cheese, garlic, and sea salt.
The most vocal supporters of Sampdoria follow home games from the Gradinata Sud. The reading of blucerchiata formation is accompanied by choirs (the fans repeat the surname of their heroes) and that continues throughout the match. During the match the Gradinata Sud, but also the Distinti sector, are a great spot blucerchiata, with mesh, scarves, and flags that recall the colors of the Ligurian team.
Obviously, the main rivalry is the one with their cousins in Genoa. The matches between UC Sampdoria and Genoa CFC are called “derby della Lanterna”.
The visiting fans find accommodation in the booth placed between the Tribuna Centrale and the Gradinata Nord. Perhaps this is the area from which the view is worse, especially if the action takes place on the opposite side of the pitch.
The Marassi neighborhood and Ferraris stadium are easily reached. Nearby there are two railway stations and highway exits (the highway passes through the city of Genoa). The city is also home to one of the main Italian and European ports, and has an international airport.
Return on Investment 5
On the UC Sampdoria website you can find all the information to buy a ticket and see a home match of the Blucerchiati. Ticket prices vary from section to section.
The Luigi Ferraris is, without doubt, one of the most fascinating stadiums in Italy.
There is only one flaw. Since its last renovation, it has been more than 20 years and the time begins to be felt with some minor inconveniences.
Since July 2016, the facility has been owned by the Luigi Ferraris SRL, a company founded by UC Sampdoria and Genoa CFC, which is responsible for managing the stadium.
The Luigi Ferraris SRL is working on a facility renovation project. The future of the Ferraris might be without barriers between the pitch and the stands, the benches where the players stay would be between the Tribuna Centrale audience (similar to the Juventus Stadium model), with stages for VIPs and companies and many other improvements.
There is also an aquarium in the city, the largest in Italy and the second in Europe for size. It is not far from the stadium by taxi, bus or car, you can reach in about ten minutes and visit it is really worth it.