Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Serie A Calcio Game in Parma With the Women's AC Milan Fan Club

Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Just to be sure, in only . . .

. . . more days, Laurie is in Italy

Our son Michael is a big calcio, a.k.a. soccer, fan and AC Milan is his favorite team in Italy's Serie A.

One of his goals for his stay was to see the Red and Black in live action.

Because the AC Milan game last week was played at the same time as our Skorpions-Hammers game, that left him only one chance to fulfill his wish, today's AC Milan game at Parma.

But how would we get tickets and physically get there for today's 12:30 p.m. start?

Only one answer, contact the Skorpions go-to guy Pietro Caprioli who is also the club's Mr. AC Milan.

I let him know of Michael's wish a few weeks ago and, voilà, he had us two tickets and two spots on the Women's AC Milan Fan Club's rooter bus to Parma!

Thus, we met Pietro and the Women's Club members in Saronno at 8:00 a.m. sharp to start our journey.

Let's set up the game, remembering that team a win secures three team points to the victors while a tie equals one team point for each participant.

AC Milan founded in 1899
 Fourth Place in Serie A
15 Wins - 10 Ties - 7 Losses
55 Team Points


Parma Calcio founded in 1913
 Fourteenth Place in Serie A
9 Wins - 8 Ties - 15 Losses
35 Team Points

After about a two hour bus ride on a comfortable recliner, or Pullman as they call it in Italy, bus we arrived in Parma only to be pulled over to the side of the Autostrada just past the toll booth by the Parma Police who were waiting for us.

It seems that this spot was the rallying point for any and all of the AC Milan rooter busses before proceeding on to Parma's Stadio Ennio Tardini with a police escort.

Oh the joys of Italian calcio.

 We were the first bus to arrive
and had to wait about 30 minutes
before the fifth and final AC Milan
rooter bus arrived before proceeding

This meant only one thing, everyone off the bus to smoke, eat, drink, stretch your legs and, if you were a male, pee by the side of the road.

Sorry ladies.

We were joined by another bus

We met two fun people on our bus ride who are seen here on the lower right of this photo, Orietta in the red and black striped jersey and her husband Gianluca.

Besides being diehard calcio fans, they are also fans of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

We had a lot to talk about.

The people on the bus behind us
also used the down time to
practice their calcio cheers

Once the last rooter bus arrived we headed to the stadio with a solid police presence leading and trailing the way.

We were unloaded into a secured area just 50 meters from the entrance to the end zone stands for visiting teams that are blocked off from the rest of the stadium, again for security purposes.

 Entering Stadio Ennio Tardini

Our stands were PACKED . . . 

. . . and already a little rowdy too!

While our tickets said that we were in Row 1 seen here, the reality was that no one was paying attention to seat assignments so we headed to the top of the stadio where the scoreboard would eventually cast a cooling shadow on us on this bright, sunny day.

 The tension was building as
the Parma Ultras across the field
started the usual taunting

Micheal, George and Pietro Caprioli


Michael grooving to this
AC Milan song

Pre-Game Selfie with Michael

Parma has GREAT flags!

"Parma, Parma VAFANCULO!"

It means "Parma, Parma HAVE A GREAT DAY!"

I think.

As the game start time neared,
the two end zones or Curvas got
more frenetic!

 Finally we were underway!


 Michael's Panoramic Photo of the
Stadio Ennio Tardini

The first half ended with the score 0-0 as AC Milan was playing down to the level of their 14th place opponents.

 Maybe some burning road flares
in the AC Milan stands would
fire up the team

Another selfie at halftime
basking in the merciful
scoreboard shade

In the 69th minute, AC Milan reserve Samu Castillejo found the back of the net right in front of us to ignite our stands to frenzied revelry despite the still overall lethargic play from the Red and Black. It was AC Milan 1 - Parma 0.

In the 87th minute, veteran Parma
defender Bruno Alves drilled a picture
perfect free kick into the upper left corner
of the goal to tie the game at 1-1

Before Alves' free kick, Michael said to me "That's a dangerous spot for a free kick." 

Right he was.

The Final Score

Even though it was official a 1-1 tie, in the stands it definitely felt like a Parma win.

With only five games left in the season, this tie really hurts AC Milan's hopes to finish in the Serie A top four this year thus qualifying for next years Champions League tournament.

After the game, security was still an issue.

We could not exit the stadium 
for about half an hour after the game
was over while the police cleared
the streets of Parma fans

What did you did when the player
whose name is on the back of your
jersey leaves your team?

Simply add the word MERDE under his name.


I think.

One last shot with Orietta and Gianluca
in the bowels of Stadio Ennio Tardini

This photo was takenjust before we got the ALL CLEAR to leave the Stadio, board our bus and get another police escort out of town to the Autostrada for the smooth ride back to Saronno.

Back in Varese, we were hungry so we stopped at the Spitz Bar for a drink, a tray of cheeses and meats and a shared plate of Gnocco Fritto which is savory, fried Italian dough.

 What do you think Michael?

Gnocco Fritto is

Just another FABULOUS day in northern Italy!


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