Watching the World Cup in Milano

Will you be rooting for the Azzurri this summer? Or maybe The Three Lions? Or La Celeste or Los Ticos instead? For the uninitiated, these are all nicknames for national soccer teams that will face off during this year’s World Cup matches. 32 countries from all over the world are sending their men’s soccer teams to Brazil this year for the biggest championship in football. Don’t worry, you can still keep tabs on the action, even if you’re thousands of kilometers from the sunny coasts of Brazil in hot and humid Milano. Here’s how.

Students playing foosballOutdoor jumbo screens
Big-screen viewings of all the Italy games are scheduled in open-air piazzas around the city. But, before you make plans to watch some of the games outside, remember to check the weather forecast for possible rain or super-hot temps.

For the first game on Thursday at 10pm, Brazil vs Croatia, the first Italy game on Saturday at midnight (technically 12am on Sunday morning) and several other big games, jumbo screens will be set up at the following locations:

  • Alzaia Naviglio Grande – 3 screens will show the games, along with several related activities and stands. This is a cool location that will use the water creatively, and it’s right next to Milan’s biggest nightlife spot.
  • Piazza Castello – In the new pedestrian area near the castle, which has been home to food and souvenir stands for the past few weeks, a big screen will be set up to watch a different soccer match every day.
  • Idroscalo – Located on the outskirts of the city (take the 73 bus to Linate, then bus 183 or 930), this man-made lake is surrounded by a huge park and a few bars and clubs. It will host World Cup games on a 50m video wall, in addition to other related activities for sports fans.
  • Carroponte (Bicocca) – This is another locations that’s not close to downtown (Via Granelli 1, Sesto San Giovanni), but it’s not far from the Sesto Marelli/Sesto Rondò and the Bignami subway stops. Located in a large area with food stands galore, they will be showing all the Italy games and a few of the other big teams during the first round of matches.

TV options
If you’d rather watch the games in the comfort of your own home, Italy’s public TV station RAI1 will be showing one game per day, including all the Italy games. The schedule (available online here) is out for the first few days:

  • 12 June, 10pm: Brazil-Croatia
  • 13 June, 9pm: Spain-Netherlands
  • 14-15 June, 12am midnight: England-Italy
  • 15 June, 9pm: France-Honduras

And, if you or a generous friend happens to subscribe to pay TV channels (i.e. Sky or Mediaset Premium), you can probably catch all the other games too, even the teams that aren’t as popular in Italy.

Pubs and bars
The other option is, of course, to find a good pub with a TV or two that’s showing the game you’re interested in. And you can drink an ice cold beer and enjoy some pub food during the game. There are a few good sports pubs around town, and even regular pubs and bars often have a TV hooked up with premium channels for all the games. Remember, though, that for big games it’s always a good idea to call ahead and make a reservation.

Enjoy watching the games while you’re in Milan. And may the best team win!

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