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Watching the World Cup in Italy

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The friend I'm travelling to Italy with the first two weeks in July is a huge soccer fan, and he's informed me that the World Cup will be taking place during our trip.

So, where to Italians gather for occasions like that? Is there the equivalent of a sports bar? What kind of establishment should we be on the look out for? Any specific suggestions for Florence (our apartment is near the Duomo) and Rome (Testaccio)?

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  1. We were in France during the World Cup matches in 2006 0r 7 and every coffee bar, small town cafe and pub (in places that had them), were showing it on their tvs nonstop. I am sure there are bigger locales that our Rome folks can tell you about, but im confident that your "locals" in Testaccio will be showing it.

    1. We were in Positano and Naples during the last World Cup, and found that Italians gathered pretty much anywhere there was a TV and a chair. The more casual restaurants were all jam packed, as were any type of cafe or bar. In fact, my son learned to say his first word while watching a game there: "Gol !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      1. I was in Spoleto in 2008 during the Euro Cup and all the locales gathered out at the biggest bar in the piazza, and there was wild enthusiasm until they lost for Spain on penalties in the end. Then everybody got silent and went home. :)

        1. Any place will work, it will be insane. Consider the raucous bars that line the Campo de' Fiori (my neighborhood). It's really not about seeing the game, rather, it's about the vibe and the passion. You can feed off the energy and have a really good time.
          Having said that, you might want to check out Scholar's Lounge. They know football there. Wines are merely ok at best, beers/ales much better. It's an Irish pub that hasn't lost its way.
          Have too much fun.

          1. this totally depends on how far italy goes, but in past world up years, there have been big jumbotrons set up in piazzas (including campo de' fiori) and in the circus maximus. if the games are going on at mealtime, it is worth it to reserve a table in advance (esp at dinner) so case the joints in testaccio and the centro storico that may show the game and book a spot, specifying a table with a decent view of the screen.

            1. Any place in Testaccio that has a TV will work. A great place would be La Villetta, a pizzeria near the Pyramid. It's a kind of hang out for Roma fans. The TV is always on there!

              1. Will restaurants be closed during games? I'll be there during the semi finals and I don't know if Italy will be playing or not-- It sounds fun as long as it doesn't interfere with my eating schedule!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: sarahbeths

                  They'll probably be open officially, but if Italy is playing, service is going to be a challenge!

                2. in Rome there will be an official fan village in the Villa Borghese (Piazza Siena) -
                  Though it is authorized and official, there is still some discussion about it today (oh, it will only open tomorrow, so enough time yet) so watch it closely to catch any changes in location.