“Smoke and soccer barricades... Ordinary!”
I watched an International game of Rugby Union at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, and it was quite different to what I am used to!
The ground is located to the North of Florence, within walking distance of the city centre. The actual gates and seating areas were a little confusing and poorly marked. Shops/stalls selling food were thin on the ground, but there were sellers walking around the stands during the game.
A couple of things surprised me about the stadium. Firstly, smoking is allowed, and the local fans near me did not stop for the whole 80 minutes! It’s only when you have to put up with cigarette smoke that you realise how lucky we are that most civilised places have put sensible bans on smoking! By the end of the match, I felt (and smelled) like I had spent a night in a seedy nightclub.
The other thing that surprised me was the wire fences separating the fans from the pitch – the stadium is usually a soccer ground, home to ACF Fiorentina so they obviously put up with the nonsense that goes along with that. Not a problem for where I was, up higher in the stands, but I would avoid getting a ticket down near pitch level, unless you want to be looking through metal bars!
There is some history to the stadium, being built way back in 1932. It has hosted games associated with the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup as well as concerts by Madonna and David Bowie.
While the Stadio Artemio Franchi was an interesting experience, it is little more than a regional ground and does not meet the standards of a high-class professional sporting arena. One to try, but not a must-see.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.