by Melinda Gallo

Curva Fiesole

I was so happy when Alessandro surprised me with tickets to go watch the Fiorentina play their second to the last home partita (game). And as a bigger surprise, he got us tickets in the Curva Fiesole, which is the part of the stadio (stadium) behind the goal toward Fiesole. I was told, and also believe, that the Curva Fiesole is the heart of the stadio, but I didn't fully understand that until I went to the partita (soccer match) today.

Living in Florence :: Curva Fiesole

We arrived a half hour before the partita began and made our way up the bleachers to sit down in the seats that our friend Filippo saved for us. When we sat in the Maratona (another part of the stadio), we had to sit in the seats assigned to us. But in the Curva Fiesole today, the seat numbers didn't seem to matter at all.

Instead of bringing my new and larger macchina fotografica (camera), I brought a smaller one that fit in my pocket. Before the partita began, the calciatori (soccer players) stood on the campo (field) while the tifosi (fans) greeted them by waving their Fiorentina scarves and banners. I stood on my seat, along with everyone else, and snapped the attached photo. After the partita began, I was so busy that I didn't have time to take any more photos.

A young man's voice blared over a loudspeaker to direct us to what we should be singing or chanting next. While I didn't know all the songs, I tried my best to sing along. Fortunately the guy next to me sang so clearly that I learned the words quickly.

While sitting in the Maratona, I remember that when any of the calciatori made any mistakes, people would yell out insults at them. I always felt bad for the calciatori because I'm sure they didn't want to make any mistakes. But the energy was a big negative because of all the critical remarks. Today where I was sitting in the Curva Fiesole, the people would be disappointed for a brief moment if any of the calciatori messed up, but the young man below would yell out something for us to sing to motivate the squadra (team).

When the other squadra had the ball, the young man would yell out, "Fischia! Whistle!" We all whistled until we got the ball back. A few times when the other squadra got close to the goal, the guy in front of me would hide behind his friend because he feared the other squadra would score. Each time the whistling stopped, he'd look back out on the campo again to watch the partita.

When the young man yelled out, "Tutti in piedi! Everyone on your feet!" I looked out at all the other areas of the stadio, like the Maratona to our right, the Curva Ferrovia across from us and the Tribuna on our left, and I watched as people stood up. The entire middle area of the Curva Fiesole, which is where we were, were already standing on the seats. It was amazing to see that one person could affect so many people. And at today's partita there were about 35,000 of us!

When the Fiorentina scored the first goal, there was great pandemonium in the Curva Fiesole. People jumped up and hugged each other, toppling over seats and other people. Between us we hugged and gave high five's. The spirit of the Curva Fiesole was at its best when the Fiorentina scored a goal.

Another guy in front of us had earphones on during the entire partita. I didn't understand at first what he could be listening to until he started announcing goals scored by other squadre (teams) playing at the same time. We are interested in a couple of squadre who are near us in the classifica (placings), like Juventus and Genoa, so when the other squadra scored a point against them, we cheered.

The Fiorentina, currently fourth, has a chance of coming in third in the Italian league, which would mean that we would go directly into the Champions League. One of my favorite songs that we sang after we scored our first goal was "Prandelli sė! Portaci in Champions League! Prandelli yes! Take us to the Champions League!" Prandelli is the Fiorentina's allenatore (head coach).

I so enjoyed my time in the Curva Fiesole that I'm hoping next year we'll be getting abbonamenti (season tickets). I loved how lively the Curva Fiesole was, and I felt like we played a positive role in the partita by motivating the calciatori. A few times Gilardino raised both his hands so that we would cheer even louder. When he did, the entire stadio roared. All of the calciatori as they exited the campo applauded the Curva Fiesole.

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