Posted: 2009-10-21

Soccer in Milan

On Sunday, we said “arrivederci” to Lake Como.  We headed to a hotel by the airport where we would stay the night and fly out the next morning.  After checking in and dropping off our bags, we drove back into Milan for our last evening of vacation.  You will all be happy to know that our last European dinner consisted of beer and sausages in the parking lot of San Siro soccer stadium followed by the AC Milan vs. Rome game.

In Italy, you have to buy your soccer ticket from a bank, and you have to show your ID or passport - the bonus is that your ticket has your name on it

Unlike stadiums in the U.S., the Milan stadium does not have a bunch of concession stands inside.  (The same goes for the stadium in Lisbon.)  There are only a few stands, and the offerings are limited to soda, water, espresso and simple snacks like chips and crackers and candy.  You can’t buy beer or hot dogs or other meal-food inside.  This is why there are all sorts of food trucks in the parking lot on game days.  People arrive early, grab a sausage and a beer, and then head into the stadium when they are done eating/drinking.

It was a cold night, so we bundled up with a new AC Milan hat and scarf - you can’t see it, but I am also sitting on an AC Milan cushion

The soccer game was a lot of fun with a good rivalry between AC Milan and Rome.  There was a whole section full of Rome fans at one end and an even larger section of die-hard AC Milan fans at the other, and they shouted, cheered, waved flags and sang songs throughout the game.  AC Milan has not been playing well this season, and they stunk for the first half.  Rome scored in the first 3 minutes.  The crowd was not shy about expressing its opinion about the team’s playing; let’s just say that the guy in front of us had really long middle fingers.  When half-time came, the entire stadium boo’d the team off the field.

The stadium was huge

Players on the field

The second half of the game was more interesting.  We saw Ronaldinho score a goal on a penalty kick.  (He’s a world-famous player from Brazil.)  Then another AC Milan player named Pato scored a beautiful goal, and the crowd went absolutely crazy.  AC Milan beat Rome 2-1.

Here’s Ronaldinho doing his penalty kick

The die-hard fan section sets off fireworks/smokebombs when a goal is scored

After the game, we drove back to our hotel and arrived at midnight.  We got up the next morning at 6:30, had a hotel breakfast, and headed to the airport.  Our plane left at 10:45 am, and we arrived in Atlanta at 3:10 pm after a 10-1/2 hour flight.  I am not afraid to admit that I cried a little on the way back to the States. 

We flew over the Swiss Alps on the way home

Chad on the plane back to the States

We have had an awesome, amazing adventure for the last 7 months.  We learned a lot - about ourselves, about each other, and about other cultures - and we met some great people.  Would I change anything?  Very little.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely! 

Stay tuned for a final post with our “best-of” recommendations.  But give us a few days.  Our bodies are here, but we’re still waiting for our hearts and minds to return from Europe.

-Julia Abbott


John M

Welcome back Juli and Chad! I've enjoyed reading about your travels and am looking forward to your best-of posts.


This has been so much fun just reading about all your travels - so are you going to continue with this once you settle in GA and let us know what you are doing there:)


My, you do have the expressive speech. I feel nostalgic with you, but welcome home. Now the culture shock of returm to the U.S. How long will THAT jet lag last?


Glad your home cant wait to talk with you. missed you guys so much.

Louise Hawk

What a wonderful adventure I've had reading your very interesting stories and looking at the pictures.
Welcome home. Can't wait for some sort of a reunion to see you guys! Now if we can just get Mom and Dad and Uncle Jack on the east coast. . . .
Love ya'

Donnie Wooten

I really wanted to go to a soccer match while in Milan...

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