Until recently, La Spezia was mostly known for the picturesque Cinque Terre, and not for football. But nowadays you can even see Serie A football in the most southern point of Liguria, at local pride Spezia Calcio. Ideal to combine with all the beauty of the Ligurian coast.
That Spezia promoted to the Serie A in 2020 was already a miracle, but that the club maintained themself in the Italian elite quite easily was probably even a bigger accomplishment. In their debut season, they finished on a well-deserved 15th place. The club has a lot of goodwill among Italians football fans and Spezia doesn't have a real enemy. The tifosi of Spezia consider the much bigger Genoa and Sampdoria as rivals though, but they are mostly in a big battle with each other.
Stadio Alberto Picco
With room for just 10.000 people the smallest stadium of the Serie A, the Stadio Alberto Picco, directly next to the harbor of La Spezia. Sometimes in Italy you see that smaller sides still play in a giant stadium, but at Spezia everything is quite modest. The stadium was so not ready for promotion to the Serie A that Spezia had to play the first six months at home in Cesena, more than 300 kilometers away from home.
The Stadio Alberto Picco is actually a bit of a mishmash of different architectural styles. The Tribuna Laterale has a remarkable gabled roof like you normally only see in Great Britain, while the curvy Curva Ferrovia reminds a bit of the old Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. The Tribuna Distinti and Curva Piscina are more square-shaped.
The gate of the stadium
Eyecatcher of the stadium is the giant Renaissance style entrance gate, between the Curva Piscina and the Tribuna Distinti. A big arch with two columns and a sculpture of an athlete on each side. The monumental gate dates from the thirties of last century but has lost its function since: back in those days, the Stadio Alberto Picco only had two stands, now the Curva Piscina blocks the walkway.
Alberto Picco, hero of the city
In La Spezia, Alberto Picco is known as a real hero. Back in World War I, the young and brave soldier went up the ranks of the Italian army very quick, but fell in action, only 20 years old. Before the war he was one of the thriven forces behind Spezia Calcio and did he - aged 17 - score the first official goal in the club history. As a tribute to him, after the war the stadium was named after him, and between the Tribuna Laterale and the Curva Ferrovia hangs a plaquette with his name and those of other members who fell in the war.
In the city centre of La Spezia you'll find the NH Hotel at the Via XX Settembre. It's the place where the first team of Spezia usually gathers before home matches, and where the team coach to the stadium departs from. At important matches, they are usually accompanied by hundreds of scooters and motors on their way to the stadium, a beautiful Italian tradition.
You can buy your home tickets for Spezia on the official website of the club, or at Vivaticket, an official ticketing site for lots of events in Italy and also football matches of several clubs, among which Spezia. Very useful if you're planning to visit more matches or events.
How to get there
The Stadio Alberto Picco is at the Via Nicolò Fieschi in the west of La Spezia, not far from the city centre. You can park your car along this way. From train station La Spezia Centrale its just a 15-minute walk to the stadium. From this station, trains depart to all the big cities of Italy, from Turin to Palermo.