Club Sportivo Firenze

It was a beautiful day here in Florence – not as hot as the weather back in the United States – but it was a terrific spring day!  The boys did schoolwork this morning.  They are working hard to make sure they will be right on track with their classmates when we return.  We took a nice recess break midday and played some soccer in the park.  Maria took off with Amy to do some shopping, and the boys continued their work while sitting in on my classes this afternoon.

This evening Thomas’ soccer team at Club Sportivo Firenze held a mini-tournament with two other soccer clubs.  Nicholas had practice at the same time, so the four of us spent the evening at Club Sportivo Firenze.  The club has really been the source of much of our cultural immersion here in Italy.  So I thought I would give you a more detailed tour of this wonderful facility!

If you look at the picture at the top of the blog, you can get a sense of where the club is.  You can see the Ponte Vecchio in the picture – it is the bridge with the houses and archways on it.  If you follow the Arno River above the Ponte Vecchio in the distance, you’ll notice that the buildings on the right end and that there is a grove of trees there.  Club Sportivo Firenze is located near this park.  We live to the left of the Ponte Vecchio in the picture above, so it is about a 25-30 minute walk for us to get to the soccer club.  

The open gate in the picture below leads into the club’s main facilities.  Note the guys sitting in the right of the picture.  They are in front of the Somalia House.  On our second visit to the club back in January, I made the mistake of trying to enter the club through the front door of the Somalia House.  It was nighttime, and Nicholas and Thomas were a bit scared!  Thankfully, I knew how to profusely apologize in Italian!

If you don’t enter the gate and you instead turn around, this is what you see.  The door leads into Club Sportivo’s alternate soccer field.  Nicholas practiced on this field tonight since the main field was being used for Thomas’ tournament.

Going through that door takes you through a small tunnel and then out to the field.  It is an interesting old structure: 

If we go back outside to the main gate and then go through the gate, this is what you see.  Note the travel vans, the motorcycles, and the boy walking in to practice with his soccer bag.

Once you pass the motorcycles, you get to the club’s coffee bar.  It is under the red and white awning.  Above the coffee bar, the club has a dining hall – this is where a couple of the dinners we’ve attended have been held.  There is also a little inside cafe that you see to the right.  Tonight the Einolfs and the Marcheses had dinner in the cafe after the tournament.  The food was molto buono as usual! 

Inside – under the red awning – is the coffee bar.  You can get your caffee, cappuccino, mixed drinks – you name it!  They also serve great pizzas and sandwiches. 

After the coffee bar is the entrance for the players to get to the locker room.  The open door – not the W.C. door!  Parents and family can either go back to the coffee bar or go up into the stands to watch.

Parents can come into the open door to wait for their kids to get out of the shower.  The door here goes to the locker rooms.  I’ve spent many an evening here with Nicholas and Thomas waiting for Gabriele to finish his shower! 

This is the view from the stands.  The field is surrounded by a velodrome where bicycle races can be held.

Here is Thomas tonight in his all-white uniform.  I keep thinking – I hope he doesn’t get one of his nose-bleeds in this uniform!  And he’s not in deep meditation here before the game.  His coach brings out a bag of balls, and all of the boys make a mad rush to get one.  Thomas doesn’t care, so he just stands there waiting for the boys to clear out.

The teams tonight getting organized.  The boys rotated from one station to another in which they played different kinds of soccer games.

This game in the picture below was fun to watch.  Instead of shooting at a goal, the boys had to stop the ball inside the “endzone” which is between the row of cones on either side. 

An angelic Thomas making a play – I loved the other team’s uniforms!

Caterina and Maria in the stands – note Caterina’s shoe…

They are quite fashionable!

At the end of the tournament, the teams ended up in a three-way tie.  They all went home in first place! And we didn’t forget about Nicholas on the other field!  I came over to watch the end of his practice.   

Nicholas has his last game on Saturday, and Thomas has his last game Monday evening.  And that will be the end of our time with Club Sportivo Firenze.  We will be sad to leave, but we are VERY grateful for the friendships that we’ve made!

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