Rome is home to some of the greatest sports teams and events in the entire world. Most importantly, it is home to the A.S. Roma soccer team and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, or the Italian Open. As I have played tennis since I was in fourth grade, I was incredibly excited to find out that I would be in Rome during the Italian open. I was also in Rome for some of Roma’s biggest games, playing against Real Madrid and FC Napoli. While I was unable to attend a Roma vs. Napoli match, I was fortunate enough to watch Rome play against some of the best players in the world in the Roma vs. Real Madrid match. Sadly, Roma lost the match, however it was still an amazing experience. During the Italian open, I was lucky enough to be able to watch my favorite player, Rafael Nadal, play against and defeat Kohlschreiber in straight sets.
If you're able to study in Rome, or really anywhere in Europe, I highly recommend going to see a soccer match. Soccer is such an important sport in Europe and it’s truly an amazing experience to see and take in the passion of the locals for their team. It’s much like going to watch a college football game in the states but it can often become even more heated and passionate if it’s a big rivalry game. Even though I was unable to go to a Roma Napoli game, I heard that it was one of the craziest and most passionate atmospheres in the world. The Romans are very passionate about their teams and truly fall in love with the players. The Roma vs. Real Madrid match was also pretty incredible due to the high caliber players that I had the chance to see. This included Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Benzema, Totti, De Rossi, and many others.
Getting to go to the Italian Open may have been my favorite thing I’ve done in Rome. I was able to see my favorite tennis player win a match and that alone was possibly a once in a lifetime experience. The atmosphere was very different to that of the soccer match, however, you could tell the Italians were still very passionate about tennis. One time, the umpire called a ball in that the crowd thought was out and he was quickly booed by the entire stadium in defense of the player. As tickets for tennis are by the time and not by match, I was also able to watch Kvitova play Madison Keys (an up and coming American player). I, of course, was rooting for Madison Keys to win. She played an amazing game and was able to come out on top in straight sets. As we were leaving the stadium, we were able to catch the last few points of Venus Williams’ match. Even though she lost, it was pretty amazing to be able to see a legendary tennis player like Venus in action.
If you're planning on studying abroad in Europe, I highly recommend going to see a few sporting events during your time here. Even if you're not a big fan of whatever sport it may be, it’s truly a cultural experience and you get to see a different side of the locals and the country than what you’ll be used to. Plus, it’s pretty cool to be able to say that you got to see some of the best soccer players and/or tennis players in the world play in Europe.
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<p>My name is Josh Marrs and I am a junior from Rice University in Houston, Texas! I'm majoring in Sociology with a major interest in social inequality. My passions are playing tennis, basketball, ping pong, and any other sport I can get my hands on. Visiting Rome has been one of the biggest dreams of my life thus far and I will be fulfilling that dream by studying in Rome during the Spring of 2016. This will be my first time experiencing another country and I can't wait to share my experiences and reflections.</p>