If you're not interested in football and the Euros then please stop reading now! Oh, we had the most amazing week. Tuesday, England beat Germany in the Euros football tournament. The next round (England V Ukraine) was taking place in Rome.. What? Leigh turned round and said to our Italian friend "shall we try and get tickets?" and our friend said "good luck with that!". Hmm.. a challenge we thought. First of all we got on to the English Embassy as directed by UEFA, that turned out to be incorrect information. Seriously. Leigh then spent the evening checking the UEFA site on how to organise tickets every hour on the hour. He is very determined. We finally got tickets and set off with some friends on Saturday morning on our little adventure. Forgot to say, we all had to have Covid tests the day before and ensure we had our IDs and proof of Italian residency as Italy were not allowing fans arriving from the UK due to Covid restrictions.
What an unforgettable day! Leigh is the biggest football fan and his enthusiasm is infectious. I made a large banner and sewed St George crosses on our face masks with not much cursing, honestly! The banner was super popular and before we got into the stadium we had our photo taken several times - hilarious. It all added to the excitement. The mood was joyous in and around the stadium and even the hundred or so Italian riot police were jolly while checking our details (I don't think our group of five looked particularly threatening).
Several security checks later, on the very last check, the guard took our banner saying that it was a personal message. I have no idea what they were thinking it said but the song the banner refers to was played on the screens in the stadium. Leigh entered into a fairly heated discussion with the guard but wasn't going to push it too far and risk missing the match. But don't worry we managed to retrieve the infamous banner when exiting the stadium. Phew.
The game was a blur with all the excitement and chanting, so many goals (four in total scored by England). The pressure was off after the third goal and even the Ukraine fans were chanting with us "It's coming home"!!!
Half way through the match our 'phones started pinging - we thought our friends may have been commenting on our FB post but no.. the photos that were taken before the match were being shown on the Guardian and Sky News websites. One of our friends commented "you two are everywhere". Ha ha.
On our way out of the stadium the atmosphere was still incredible, everyone buzzing and people asking if they could borrow our banner to take pictures with - that banner! And Italians tooting their horns and shouting "see you in the final".. What a day!
Still not over yet, Wednesday is the semi final and if we get through that, the final is on Sunday. We're spending both matches with friends over here in Italy (with the obligatory pizza and Prosecco) and I am sure most of England will be doing something similar.. Good times.
One last thing that I completely forgot about, The Tour de France is on at the moment and England's Mark Cavendish had his first stage win in five years after a long illness! He cried and so did I. What an incredible week for English sport.
I think there will most probably be one more blog regarding the footy as we have another fraught week ahead hoping that England get through but once the finals are done (next Sunday) we'll be back to the usual relaxed bike rides and al fresco coffees and pizzas. The sunflowers are out so I am wanting to take some pictures. Obviously the best time to do that is first thing in the morning and I haven't been able to get my lazy bottom out of bed for the last couple of days, must be coming down from all the excitement! It's coming home, I can feel it!
D I A N A xxx
Welcome to my blog...
Just a little insight into our lives here. After eleven years of living in Tuscany I thought it was about time to have a go at blogging when one of my lovely friends said she had received (what she thought!) was an extremely funny text from me, hmmm.. How difficult can it be?!
D I A N A xxx