Champions League Final Stadium Guide: Stadio Olimpico
The 2009 Champions League Final will be the 54th final of the tournament and the 17th under the current format. The final will be played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 27 May 2009. The stadium is located in the North of Rome along the river Tiber in the Foro Italico, about 4 miles from the city centre. It has a seating capacity of 82,000 and is one of the largest stadiums in Europe. It is the host stadium for two Serie A clubs in Roma and Lazio, along with the Italian National side.
The stadium, designed by architect Annibale Vitellozzi, sits between the Tiber river and the Monte Mario hill. It was built in 1952 as a venue for the 1960 Summer Olympics. In the outer grounds are various mosaics depicting different Olympic sports and similar statues in the gardens next to the stadium. Stadio Olimpico also hosted the 1987 World Athletics Championships. As a venue for the 1990 World Cup, the stadium underwent a good deal of reconstruction. A roof was added and the stands rebuilt closer to the playing surface, though retaining the “bowl” shape of the stadium. 2009 will be the fourth time the final has been played at the stadium, following Liverpool`s wins over Borussia Monchengladbach in 1977 and AS Roma in 1984, along with Juventus` win over Ajax in 1996.
Accommodation near Stadio Olimpico
Rome has hotels in abundance, but given that the Stadio Olimpico is an hour and a half walk from the city centre, it seems sensible for those just wishing to attend the Champions League final to stay as close as possible. For those wishing to make the trip a bit more of a holiday, buses 32 and 280 and tram 225 from the centre of Rome serve the stadium. Some appropriate hotel choices close to Stadio Olimpico include:
Hotel Astrid, Largo Antonio Sarti 4, Rome. This hotel is located within easy walking distance of the stadium and offers garage parking.
Hotel Farnesina, Via della Farnesina 23, Rome. Also close to the stadium, offering full buffet breakfast and free Internet use.
Rome`s many hostels, mostly located near the Termini train station, are a cheap and cheerful alternative to hotel accommodation, costing substantially less than a Manchester United hotel. One appropriate hostel is the Happy Days Hostel, Via Trionfale 146, Rome. This is close to the stadium and a mere 10-minute walk from Vatican City, but has an age restriction of 18-35.
Various self-catering apartments are also available for rent near Stadio Olimpico, with prices falling in the range between hostels and hotels.