CBC Sports Online's soccer expert, John Molinaro, takes you inside the world of soccer and offers his insights about the action on the pitch and in the front office.
The Eternal City awaits
Saturday, October 13, 2007 | 10:59 PM ET
CBCSports.ca soccer expert John F. Molinaro is going on a month-long vacation to Rome where he plans on eating a pile of prosciutto, soaking up the warm Italian sun and watching a lot of soccer.
TORONTO - It's less than 24 hours before I'm scheduled to take off from Pearson Airport and I can hardly contain myself.
After a long summer spent covering the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the trials and tribulations of Toronto FC, I'm off to Rome for four weeks for a much-needed vacation.
Of course, a full round of calcio, the Italian word for soccer, is on the agenda, as I'll be attending seven games (five Serie A contests, two Champions League games) while I'm in the Eternal City, including the heated Roma-Lazio derby on Halloween.
And an eighth game might be on tap, depending if I can get a ticket to the Inter Milan-Juventus game scheduled for Nov. 4. If I can somehow find one, I plan on taking the seven-hour train ride from Rome to Turin to watch my beloved Juventus play against their bitter rivals.
This isn't the first soccer-related trip I've made: back in 2005, I spent my birthday in London, England by attending eight games in 10 days, the best of which was the final Arsenal-Manchester United match at Highbury.
Two years before that, I made the pilgrimage to Old Trafford in Manchester to watch the Champions League final.
While I am excited about attending the Roma-Lazio derby, known to the locals as Il Derby Capitale, I'm especially looking forward to Roma's home game against Napoli on Oct 21. My cousin's husband, Angelo, is a diehard Napoli fan who lives and dies with the team, so he'll prove to be an interesting game companion.
My other cousin, Gabriele, who is not a soccer fan (hard to believe there are any such people in Italy) has agreed to attend the Lazio-Udinese game with me on Oct. 28. Gab is big Formula One fan and the only time he attends soccer games is when I come to visit - even though he lives just a stone's throw away from Rome's Stadio Olimpico.
I'm also going to a pair of Champions League games - Roma vs. Sporting Lisbon and Lazio vs. Werder Bremen - but I haven't decided which of my other Italian cousins to bring. I'll leave it to them to fight it out.
In the meantime, I'm counting down the hours until I arrive in Rome.
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About the Author
John F. Molinaro is a reporter for CBC Sport Online whose chief love is international soccer. John served as senior editor of Sports Online's Euro 2004 website, which helped him win a CBC.ca Award of Excellence, and was the driving force behind our coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He holds an honours BA in sociology from York University and a print journalism diploma from Sheridan College, and is also the author of The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time (Stewart House, 2002).
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