As this site changes focus to sports, I find myself researching destinations in advance slightly differently. The fact I’m researching in advance is a bit strange for me as I usually wing it, but I find I need to dig a bit deeper to find exactly what I want now.

What do I want? Sports experiences. That could mean, tours, museums, games, events, hikes. It’s pretty broad but I’ve found not many people go to a country for sports so don’t recommend the stuff I’m interested in. So if I planning a trip to Florence, here’s the basic outline of what I’ll do (and my thought process) beyond the usual museum visits (ideally skipping the queues) and looking where to sleep.

What Sports Do They Play In Florence?

most popular sport in florence is football

They are football crazy in Florence

I want to see a sports event live if possible. The easiest way to do this is Google-ing ‘sports Florence wikipedia’. There will usually be a sports section describing the most popular sports with a little bit of information on the Wikipedia page (there is).

Based on this I know I could watch top-level rugby (I Medicei) and football games (ACF Fiorentina) in Florence. I normally don’t plan a trip to go see a club game on its own, but if I can stay in a city for an extra day or two I’ll do so. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve planned your itinerary, whether that be an awesome 10 days exploring the country, remain flexible. So pretty much I’ll just take a quick Google a few days in advance and see if they have a home game around the time of my visit.

There’s also a mention of water polo on the Wiki page, which I’ve never seen live so will definitely look into that. The team is called RN Florentia, but again it isn’t easy to navigate the official sites as they don’t have an English version. When I’m in Florence I’ll ask at the info centre if there’s a game on or not. At worst, they can look it up for me.

The Biggest Stadium In Florence Is? Do They Offer Tours?

home of italian football

You can’t tour the main stadium but a tour of Coverciano is possible.
Photo by Nazionale Calcio via Flickr

Based on Wikipedia in the previous search, I know that the main stadium in Florence is the Stadio Artemio Franchi. I love a good stadium tour, so now I try and find out if they’re offered at all. This isn’t always easy to work out on foreign websites with English translations!

From what I can find out though, Stadio Atermio Franchi is a fairly simple stadium with minimal ‘extras’ so no tours are offered. I’ll have to go to a game!

The city is also the home of the Italian National Team and related functions such as the football museum. This is all housed at Coverciano. In a football mad country, this would be a fun place to visit but it looks like you need to book in advance via email. This is the exact reason I’ve started trip planning to Florence and wherever my next destinations are in advance. Because sport.

What Sports Activities Can I Do?

running tours florence

A running tour around here would be cool

There are two strategies I default to here, as there are plenty of local sports I could get amongst but that would take a long time to work out.

Strategy 1: Check out if there is any regular meetings on Couch Surfing and/or Meetup.

I’ve played Ultimate Frisbee in a number of cities thanks to Couch Surfing! Unfortunately, doesn’t look like that’s the case here for either. That’s okay though. I’ll head to a meet up with some description and if I can chat to locals, they’ll often give me some ideas.

Strategy 2: I head to TripAdvisor and look for outdoor activities in the city. This is a surprisingly good option to find some random attractions as small businesses try and promote themselves there.

From my brief research I’d totally be interested in a running tour! I’ve done walking tours, but the running tours add a new twist and I know my buddy Garrett loves to do that.

The other option that appeals to me is the outdoor pools. Piscina Comunale Costoli appears to be the popular one and admission is reduced after 3 pm which is obviously when I’ll go and look to work on my swimming skills.

Florence Hiking Trails

florence hiking

Hiking in Florence must include Cinque Terre

This is mainly a google search for ‘best day hikes Florence travel blog’ and similar terms. It doesn’t appear on my hiking colloration post, but < href="" target="_blank">Cinque Terre looks like a must-do hike based on my friend Dianas Instagram.

I basically open up lots of tabs, look at the pictures, choose the ones that look appealing and then see if they’re feasible based on how long I plan to be in the city.

Best Sports Bars In Florence

Ah, I almost forgot. If there’s a big game or sports event on like the All Blacks or Olympics, I try and find a sports bar to watch it at. Otherwise, I’m just streaming it online. It’s silly the amount of time I spend streaming sports while travelling. No regrets though!

The definition of a sports bar varies quite a lot around the world and I usually need to dive into different reviews of Yelp and TripAdvisor to get a real feel for the place. After doing so,
Uncle Jimmys and Fashion Footballer seem to be the two best places to watch a variety of sports.

Now that I’ve realised I really love sports experiences planning a trip to Florence or wherever has become a whole lot more fun. Most of the activities I like to do for example won’t be found in top 10 lists you see everywhere. I’m getting the hang of it and am looking forward to visiting Florence.

What do you think? Am I a little bit too obsessed with sports or does this make you want to plan your trips better next time?