by Melinda Gallo

La Fiorentina: an extension of my love for Florence

A lot of my friends donít understand my love for the Fiorentina, Florenceís squadra di calcio (soccer team). I was never a big tifosa (fan) of any squadra before even though I have always loved calcio (soccer). I used to only watch the big partite di calcio (soccer matches), like the World Cup. But since Iíve been in Florence, my love for calcio and especially the Fiorentina has grown greatly. Yesterday, I finally got to go to a home partita and felt such great joy to be there to cheer on my squadra with thousands of other tifosi in the Curva Fiesole.

Alessandro and I went to Munich last week to cheer on our squadra and even though the atmosphere was amazing with about 6,000 tifosi in the stadio (stadium), it wasnít the same as being in our stadio Franchi.

When I started going to the stadio to watch the Fiorentina play, I used to look over at the Curva Fiesole with great interest and desire to be a part of that section of the stadio. I didnít like sitting still in my cold seat in the stadio while others were cheering on our squadra. I wanted to be a part of the partita too.

When Alessandro and I decided to get our abbonnamenti (season tickets) last year, I insisted on being in the Curva Fiesole because to me it is the heart of the stadio. One guy, Fabrizio, leads not only the Curva Fiesole, but the entire stadio to cheer, sing, clap, stand up, and raise our hands.

Apart from the very few cori (cheers) against the other squadra, the cori we sing are not only about supporting our team, but more often than not about the love for the Fiorentina and Florence. ďTu sei la mia passione (You are my passion)Ē and ďOvunque tu sarai, non ti lasceremo mai (Wherever you are, we will never leave you).Ē

Fiorentinaís color is viola (purple), and people often talk about having a cuore Viola (purple heart) to express that their squadra is in their heart. People not only support their squadra, but love their squadra.

Iím normally not a person who is interested in being a part of a group, but I do enjoy going to the stadio where about 10,000 of us in the Curva Fiesole and over 40,000 people in all join together to show our support and express our love for the Fiorentina. It is an incredibly emotional experience that is not easy to put into words. It is something that I truly enjoy doing especially knowing how much our squadra appreciates and values the tifosi.

For me, being a tifosa of the Fiorentina is an extension of my love of Florence. Where else can I cheer for over an hour and a half about the city and the squadra I love? Forza Viola!

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