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Rugby in Rome

Football is Italy's sporting passion, but in recent years rugby has been carving out its own little niche.

The Six Nations tournament sees some high-profile international rugby matches in Rome, and a flood of rugby-loving tourists. For a weekend Rome seems to be packed with Scots in kilts or with English rugby shirts. The atmosphere is jovial, and the outing is a popular family event. Although few Italians know much about the game, the size of the stadium is the only thing preventing a much larger crowd of away fans.

Italy have traditionally played their Six Nations matches at the Stadio Flaminio, which is also used for football matches. You can find the directions to the stadium at the foot of this page. From 2012, while the Stadio Flaminio is being refurbished, Italy's rugby matches are due to be played at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome's big football venue. More information about the Stadio Olimpico and directions for reaching the stadium can be found on the football page, Football in Rome, and directions are included below.

Six Nations 2014

Rome fixtures 2014:

Saturday 22nd February - Italy vs Scotland 2.30pm (1.30pm GMT)

Saturday 15th March - Italy vs England 1:30pm (12:30pm GMT)

Along the way you'll notice that enterprising Italians set up temporary bars near the stadium to cater for their visitors' baffling thirst. Although British-style public drinking is really not socially acceptable in Italy, you may find a certain degree of tolerance towards polite visiting rugby fans (kilted Scots go down particularly well in Rome, especially if they bring bagpipes). Visitors should always bear in mind that they're guests in Italy, and act accordingly. Of course this doesn't just go for rugby fans.

If you're in Rome for a sporting weekend, it's worth considering joining many of your fellow fans and coming to a soccer game at the Stadio Olimpico for an extra dose of passion. On rugby weekends there are usually clusters of overseas fans at Lazio or Roma matches, warmly welcomed by the rest of the stadium (as mentioned before, bagpipes are exceptionally popular and I've seen the whole Olimpico applaud an enterprising and musical bunch of Scottish rugby enthusiasts).

Stadio Olimpico directions

The Stadio Olimpico is a short distance to the north of central Rome, by the Tiber river. The nearest Metro station is Flaminio (Linea A). To reach the stadium by public transport, the best method is to catch tram number 2 at Piazzale Flaminio. This is outside Flaminio station, and very close to Piazza del Popolo, which you may have visited while sightseeing. From Piazza del Popolo, walk through the large stone gateway and cross the wide road ahead. Trams depart from the beginning of Via Flaminia, opposite. The trams are frequent, and it is only a short journey until your destination, the terminus at Piazza Mancini. From the tram terminus, follow the crowds of sports fans through a small park to the Lungotevere, the road bordering the Tiber river. Cross the road and the bridge. The stadium lies straight ahead along a wide avenue. Catch the tram in the same piazza to return to central Rome after the match.

Stadio Flaminio directions

Not far from the larger Stadio Olimpico, the Flaminio stadium is easily reached from the centre of Rome. The nearest Metro station is Flaminio (Linea A). From here just head straight up the Via Flaminia. After about twenty minutes the stadium, with its distinctive curving sides, is visible on the right. If you'd rather not walk, take tram number two from Flaminio, opposite the gateway leading into Piazza del Popolo. The tram stops by the stadium.

Hotels for the rugby in Rome

Since the Stadio Flaminio is close to the centre of Rome, and the Olimpico is not much further away, there is no real need to stay near either stadium. However, if you would like the convenience of a hotel within a short walk or tram ride of the match venue, you could consider the Hotel Villa Glori, a decent four-star hotel literally minutes away from the Stadio Flaminio (walk or catch the tram to the Olimpico).

A practical hotel base for visiting rugby fans would be the Piazza del Popolo area of the centre. This is an attractive location, convenient for the shops along Via del Corso and a walk, bus or Metro ride from Rome's main attractions. To reach the Stadio Flaminio, you can simply walk or catch a tram along the Via Flaminia. For the Olimpico, take the tram. In this area, you could try the stylish Casa Montani, a small boutique B&B in Piazzale Flaminio, River Palace Hotel at the start of Via Flaminia or Hotel Manfredi, further away, between Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps.

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On this site

Football in Rome


Useful external links

BBC Rugby

RBS Six Nations

Football in Rome


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