CAMPIONI DEL MONDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rome Travel Blog

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Geared up for the final match, Eric and I wanted to watch the game on a big piazza with thousands of people. We were told that Piazza del Popolo would be packed, so we headed there, only to find that there was no screen, and about 4 people waving flags. In a state of panic, we asked some police where everyone would be. "Circo Massimo," they replied.

Of course! The Circus Maximus was a venue for epic chariot races in ancient times, holding more people than the Coloseum. Tonight it would be the site of a slightly different type of event. Three enormous screens were spaced out in the oval, and there must have been at least 15 thousand people! Most were our age, wearing jerseys and painted faces. It was an amazing atmosphere. When Italy scored, everyone screamed, and 10 thousand flags were lifted from out of nowhere.

A girl next to me was yelling throughout the game in a piercing high pitched voice.

In the second half and in overtime, France was dominating the game, creating many close opportunities. It seemed like they would eventually score. But then Zidane, France's captain, maliciously headbutted an Italian player in the chest. When this was shown tons of people threw their water bottles at the screen, and cheered when Zidane got a red card.

Penalty kicks are always so suspenseful. Even I got nervous before each one. The winning shot created pure chaos. Everyone was jumping in a frenzy; people were throwing water at each other; we even saw one Italian guy break down crying. It was pandamonium in the streets too. From all over the city people converged to Piazza Venezia, honking horns and waving flags.

Tons of people climbed into fountains and spashed each other. Some guys lit flares, and a few fireworks sent shocks through our bodies, for they were louder than gunshots. In the middle of the piazza people stared a fire with a box and a hubcap. It was crazy. We didn't know how to get back to the hotel, and after enough celebrating we had to ask revelers what must have been the most boring question in the world, "Where is the Termini from here?"

On the way back, hordes of people on vespas sped by honking their horns. On a street that still managed to have cars on it instead of people, a guy stood in the middle of the street playing an upside down garbage can. It was cool to think that at that time, we were at the biggest party in the world!

Eric says:
Posted on: Jul 17, 2006
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internet photos
internet photos
Circus Maximus on a clear day
Circus Maximus on a clear day
photo by: vulindlela