Australian Versus Italy – Who Wins in a Soccer and Cuisine Showdown?
Australia and Italy are both countries that love their soccer and their food, but how well do they compare with each other? Take a look at how these passions are expressed by both countries and see what they each have to offer when it comes to the two nicest side line activities.
You just might be surprised to discover that, while Italy is probably the place most people think of when it comes to the beautiful game and tempting cuisine, the land Down Under can certainly hold its own.
Soccer in Australia and Italy
Introduced by 19th century immigrants from Britain, soccer was well received in Australia. The National Soccer League, National Premier League, National Youth League, and FFA Cup are among the competitions that attract the most interest.
While the modern form of soccer was also introduced to Italy in the 19th century, the sport-loving nation had played similar games since the days of ancient Rome.
The Mediterranean country has claimed FIFA World Cup victory four times, as well as the number one spot in the European championships.
Australia and Italy’s Magnificent Stadiums
Several truly magnificent stadiums stand as testament to the Australian love of soccer; the Suncorp and ANZ stadiums, and the Adelaide Oval among them.
Located in one of Queensland’s most famous cities, the Suncorp Stadium is also known as Brisbane Stadium. The three-tier venue can seat 52 500 people, and its multi-purpose use means it’s also used to host soccer matches.
Sydney’s ANZ Stadium cost A$690 million to build, and is found in the city’s Olympic Park. Also a multi-purpose stadium, it sees its fair share of soccer games, so be sure to check it out if you visit Australia.
South Australia’s Adelaide Oval hosts’ soccer matches as well as rugby, cricket, and concerts. You can find out more about this and other stadiums with an interactive map that will hep you plan your travel itinerary as you explore Down Under.
Such state-of-the-art facilities could certainly give Italy’s Juventus, San Siro, and Stadio Olimpico a run for their money.
Capable of seating 41 000 spectators, the Juventus Stadium makes for eco-friendly soccer action. Most of the power used to power the stadium is derived from solar panels. Milan’s San Siro is one of Europe’s biggest stadiums, and has played host to not only European Championship games, but to World Cup games as well. Opened in 1937 and upgraded in 1990, Rome’s unique oval Stadio Olimpico has also played host to World Cup and European Cup finals.
Favourite Australian and Italian Food
Favourite Australian foods are nowhere as well known as the cuisine of Italy. This is a great shame, as proved by Jamie Oliver’s collection of Aussie recipes, as there are an abundance of delicious dishes served up on all occasions.
Whether it’s comfort food such as pies, a plethora of expertly barbequed meats and seafood (yes, including shrimp!), savouries such as sausage rolls and Asian-inspired Dim Sum, or sweet treats such as Pavlova or lamingtons, Australia certainly knows how to fill stomachs.
These delicious and filling foods certainly aren’t put to shame by Italian treats such as traditional Roman-style pizza, gnocchi pomodoro, creamy spaghetti carbonara, mushroom and seafood risotto, or the ubiquitous gelato and tiramisu.
When it comes to choosing a destination that offers both soccer and sumptuous fare, it’s actually rather hard to choose between Italy and Australia!