Football, as everyone knows, is Italy’s true religion. So it comes as no surprise that the “Luigi Ferraris” stadium in Genoa is nicknamed “The Temple”. The two teams in the city, Genoa and Sampdoria, perfectly represent the divisive nature of football, both boasting a long history.
Genoa was the first football club on the Italian scene, dating as far back as 1893. Sampdoria, however, is the result of football club mergers, and was founded in 1946. The two teams together boast ten “scudetti” (championship victories), but this legendary derby crosses all city limits. In fact, unlike the Turin, Milan or Rome derbies, Genoa vs. Sampdoria is a very special match. First and foremost, it is known throughout Italy for its passion, but also because it is unusual that a second-tier city, such as Genoa, should be able to garner such astounding interest for a single event.
Just like any other European city, it is not difficult to find family members divided by the teams they support. But it is certainly difficult to find fans with such a constant presence at the stadium, and the sort of “third half” before the game. If you love football, then you should definitely book a plane ticket for the Genoa Derby. Here you will see how the everyday jeers between fans – whatever their age – translates into extreme animosity inside the stadium with very little risk of boiling over.
The choreography of Genoa and Sampdoria is a match within a match, and when the two teams take to the field during this relatively unimportant championship, passions run sky-high. For fans, the derby (known as “della Lanterna”, in honour of the city’s symbol) is the only thing that matters. Of course, qualifying for the European Championships has a great appeal, but in Genoa the most important thing is to win against “them over there!”, the enemy. Even the stadium is one of the most fascinating football facilities in Italy, with the stands almost on top of the pitch. The building is scheduled to be renovated in the next few months, and was last revamped in 1990, for the World Cup. The pitch, on the other hand, has a long history behind it, having been built in 1910.
The magic of this match lies in the creative timing of its choreography, the clash of the two chants, and the mystical ritual that grabs you once you enter the stadium, where the songs of the two teams (loudly whistled by both opponents) alternate with popular, traditional songs, or with songs by great artists like Fabrizio De Andrè, a well-known Genoa fan.
Whether you love football or not, it does not matter. The Genoa Derby perfectly represents the spirit of the people of Genoa, reserved and somewhat guarded, but with an explosive passion for defending their “beliefs”, and their neighbourhood. What’s more, every game between Genoa and Sampdoria is also a huge party for the city, where families walk together towards the stadium, wearing both teams’ colours. You will see it again at the end of the match, when it is likely that someone will start to “menarlo” [make fun of] the others.
Now you are ready. The next Genoa Derby will take place at the beginning of April. Which side will you cheer for, “Grifone” or “Baciccia”? Book your flight, and an evening of pure entertainment awaits you.
On the occasion of the Genoa derby, which will witness the faceoff between the Genoa team and the Sampdoria team on the 7th of April, Volotea is organizing a large competition for a chance to win free flights!
All of the supporters of the Luigi Ferraris stadium will have the opportunity to win a Genova – Madrid trip or a Genova – Lamezia trip by participating in an online raffle ending on April 5th. In total, 10 trips are put into play and the winners will be announced during the match by two Volotea flight attendants.
Good luck to all the fans!