The San Siro football stadium makes a bold architectural statement - as attractive as a building for its purpose can be. But I am not an expert and its the first time I have been inside a football stadium, but still the prospect of getting an insider view is still exciting.
It's 10am in the morning and the huge car park is empty. We go to Gate 14 which is the entrance for the museum and guided tours around the inside of the stadium.
Entrance to the San Siro Museum and guided tours above
The San Siro Museum, the only museum in Italy to be housed inside a stadium and was inaugurated on October 5th 1996. It started as a private collection and has been continually replenished with new exhibits that tell the story of Milan and Inter through unique heirlooms: historic shirts (from Rivera to Mazzola, from Pelè and Maradona, to Zidane and Crujiff), cups, trophies, footballs, boots and artistic objects. There are also mementos from famous visitors including Popes and Presidents.
There are general memories from the past and also more recent ones such as the shirts of Ronaldo (above) and Beckham (below).
Football boots (below) looked a bit painful before they went hi-tech
On the day we visited the stadium was not in use so we goto the full works - inside both teams dressing rooms, showers, the players' tunnel and more.
The huge pitch is nurtured all year round, particularly in winter, when we visited it was being nurtured with special lights - which the local pigeon population had also discovered as they were there feeding and taking a bit of sun too.
The high-tech grow lights make it possible to have a good quality pitch all year round
Our guide explained the differences between the changing rooms of the teams - Inter Milan having more spartan facilities - basic wooden benches and A.C.'s luxury padded seating and overhead monitors.
The A.C. Milan changing room with red and black leather seats
There is also a cinema hall where you can see films about the history of the teams.
For a meeting with your own champions, in a room inside the museum, you will find 24 natural-height statues of Zenga, Bergomi, Facchetti, Mazzola, Suarez, Vieri, Zanetti, Matthäus, Meazza, Picchi, Rummenigge, Herrera, Cudicini, Gullit, Van Basten, Rijkaard, Liedholm, Nordahl, Cesare and Paolo Maldini, Baresi, Rivera, Trapattoni and Rocco.
And if you want to take home a Milan souvenir then don’t forget to stop by the San Siro Store!
Entrance: Gate n° 14
Opening hours: Every day from 10am to 5pm. The museum is shut on match days.
Prices: adults: 13 euro - under 14s/over 65s and Cuore Rossonero holders 10 euro.
Museum and Stadium Tour – Adults: 12.50 euro - under 14s/over 65s and Cuore Rossonero holders: 10 euro
Contacts, info and bookings www.sansiro.net
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