I’ll be honest with you, I am not a big fan of football (soccer) but the list of football grounds I have visited around Europe is continually growing. Mr ESLT is quite the football fan therefore we try to visit local stadiums wherever and whenever possible. So, on our recent visit to Milan a visit to the San Siro Stadium was definitely on the cards. Not being a football fan I didn’t even know which team plays at this ground. With a roll of the eyes Mr ESLT informed me there are actually two teams that play at the San Siro – Inter Milan and AC Milan both big deals in Italian football.
The San Siro is 5km away from Piazza del Duomo (Milan’s main square) and very accessible. If you want to visit why not put on your comfortable shoes and walk (it’ll take around 1 hour), jump on the metro or, like we did, jump on the hop on hop off bus which drops you right in front of the ticket office. If you do take the hop on hop off bus don’t forget to get your entrance ticket from the driver as you get a €1 discount meaning you only pay €16 as opposed to €17 on the door.
The stadium is impressive from the outside with it’s spiral walkways up to the upper tiers. I said it looked old and in need of a coat of paint. Mr ESLT, rolling his eyes again, explained that this is an iconic stadium in Italy where some of the sport’s greatest players have played and titles and trophies won. Ok. So this is billed as a tour. I took this to mean that we would be accompanied by a tour guide who would give us information regarding what we were looking at or at the very least an audio guide, based on a previous stadium tour I had done at Camp Nou in Barcelona. Unfortunately not, this is a ‘wander around at your leisure tour’. Which in hindsight it was fine based on what we actually saw although at the time it was a bit of let down.
In reality the word ‘tour’ is possibly a little bit farfetched as the only places you can actually explore within the San Siro Stadium itself are the two changing rooms and one spectators stand. Mr ESLT explained that ‘legends’ had used both the changing rooms and to be honest they had that smell to them. You know the one – stale sweat! Next stop was the one of the stands where thousands of football crazy folks stand and cheer for their favourite team week in week out. I’ll admit the pitch is impressive and looked in great condition. When full I imagine the sound in the stadium is phenomenal and really gets the players pumped up for their game.
Together with a small cafe the only other places you can visit on the stadium grounds are the shop, with limited stock and the museum which are both housed in mobile buildings. The museum is home to old shirts, programmes and other memorabilia. Mr ESLT was in his element in here looking back on the ‘glory days’ of the 80’s.
However, he was quite disappointed that he could not buy a retro football shirt from here or the shop. The hop on hop off bus drops off and picks up here every 90 minutes which I think is plenty of time to have a stroll around this admittedly impressive stadium. If you don’t have an interest in football I’d probably give it a miss. In my opinion it is a shame that you do not get the opportunity to explore more of the stadium but a good way to spend 90 minutes in Milan nevertheless.