Forza Italia!

Photo by Prayers and Piazzas


With youth soccer ramping up in suburbs across America, I thought the timing was perfect to share this photo. I snapped this in Rome a couple of summers ago, walking by a fairly nondescript bar in Rome on my way to the Pantheon. (Actually, I was really on my way to the Piazza del Popolo, but I didn’t realize that until I arrived there and was astonished not to find the Pantheon in that particular location).

Why do I think this photo captures the spirit of Italy? 1. The elegant presentation really put a smile on my face — ever fashionable and stylish, Italians cannot hide their feverish love of this sport. 2. It wasn’t World Cup time, or 3. even soccer season.

Parole Italiane (Italian Words)

  • Calcio (kal-chow)                = soccer
  • Calciare (kal-char-ay)       = to kick
  • Il bar                                     = bar
  • Argento (ar-gen-toh)         = silver
  • La scodella (sko-dell-ah)   = bowl
  • Giocare (joe-kar-ay)          = to play
  • Tifoso (tee-foh-so)              = a fan (as in sports fan)

Fun Facts

A bar in Italy is different from a bar in America – Italian bars are places where you can get a casual drink (alcoholic or not), and a bite of food throughout the day. “In Italy, the bar is the center of social life, not a place to consume large amounts of alcohol,” states one travel expert. If you’re looking for a bigger party, find a club in Italy.

I love the Italian word tifoso – used to describe sports enthusiasts – and derived from the word for typhoid, suggesting Italian fans are feverish (think World Cup soccer).

Buona domenica a tutti! Happy Sunday everyone!


Do you have a photo or two capturing the character, spirit, or essence of Italy? If so, please email me at prayersandpiazzas(at)gmail(dot)com, or send me a private message via the Prayers and Piazzas Facebook page, to participate in an upcoming Capturing Italy post!