Travel Guide: Sassuolo
Sassuolo are one of the new boys in recent times for Italian top-flight football, and there is something magical about seeing a lesser-known side playing the big teams and consistently surviving in Serie A.
While Juventus, Inter and AC Milan combinations might be the attention grabbers, Serie A consists of 17 other sides and the Neroverdi can be one of the most entertaining, as well as helping form the careers of several good youth players, with Simone Zaza and Domenico Berardi recently coming of age in a stadium that offers a different experience to that of Juventus or Milan.
You can buy your tickets online, at various Tabacchi shops around the city or at the Mapei Stadium box office which is open for up to three hours before kick-off.
The stadium is split up into five different sections, sometimes consisting of Superiore (higher) and Inferiore (lower) parts.
Prices vary depending on where you want to sit, with the most expensive being the Tribuna Centrale. For the Superiore section, tickets are €55 for the full price for over-25s.
Under-16s get a reduction, which was introduced for the 2015/16 Serie A season to replace the reductions for under-14s.
If you are aged between 16 and 25, the concession ticket price is €35.
The Inferiore section of the Tribuna Centrale is slightly cheaper; €45 for the full price and the other two categories are €5 cheaper.
Elsewhere in the stadium, the full price for the Tribuna Laterale Superiore is €30, while concessions are €10 and under-16s again get a reduction.
For the Inferiore part of this section of the stadium tickets are €5 cheaper for each category.
The Curva Sassuolo has one price available which is €20.
Sassuolo offers reductions in every category for the disabled or over-65s.
The Stazione di Reggio Emilia is the main train station for the stadium and is a 30 minute walk from the ground. The stop is on the Milano-Bologna line, with frequent services available, costing €25 for one adult return ticket.
If you don’t wish to walk it from the train station in the city centre, then you can catch the local bus H on lines eight and 12 to the stadium, although this form of travel is only available on weekdays.
The closest station to the ground is the Reggio Stadio, which you can travel to from the main station, and it is about a three minute walk from the stadium.
If you are driving to the stadium, it is about a mile from the A1 motorway and the address to put in to your Satnav is Piazzale Atleti Azzuri D’Italia, 42122 Reggio Emilia.
This will instruct you to take the Reggio Emilia exit from the A1, go through the toll booth and take the second exit at the subsequent roundabout. You should then follow the signs to the stadium which are marked by a small football symbol or the word ‘Stadio’.
The nearby shopping centre has car parks available for when you arrive, with the biggest being the Parking Mall Ariosto holding just over 1,600 spaces, just over a kilometre away from the stadium.
If you are travelling by plane, then the nearest commercial airport is Parma International, although this is a 50km journey from the ground so it is recommended to fly to Milan and catch the train.
Staying over near the stadium is relatively easy with lots of hotels available nearby, the closest being the Holiday Inn Express of Reggio Emilia, located on the roads of Viale Felice Romano and Via Meuccio Ruini. It is about a 15 minute walk from the ground and costs around €50 per night.
If you are looking for something more central in the city, the closest to the station is the Hotel San Marco. Prices also start from €50 a night for a single room.
Food and drink
The region of Emilia-Romagna itself is known for its various pasta dishes and several restaurants away from the ground towards the city are sure to serve this to the most delicious quality.
The ground itself, however, has a couple of restaurants to choose from, including the Old Wild West and the Rossopomodoro, which are close to the shopping centre available to fans on site with a pizza at the latter costing up to €10.
There aren’t any pubs near the stadium which means it is probably better to travel to the city centre to enjoy a pre-game drink.
Outside the ground
As well as the shopping centre, should you want to spend the whole day in the city of Reggio Emilia then there are lots of activities available.
If you want to keep it football-themed, a stadium tour is not yet available, however on non-match days there are several facilities which let fans see the stadium up close.
Other locations are around the city centre which is about 2.5 km away, but if you make the trip then many activities are available.
The Sala del Tricolore and its Museum shows the history of the city along with Napoleonic memorabilia, and then you could visit the Piazzas Prampolini and Grande.
Art fans can visit the Basilica della Madonna della Ghiara, which has various pieces including Guercino’s ‘Crucifixion’ along with other figures, or the Galleria Parmeggiani.
Being one of the most recent Italian stadiums built, the Mapei Stadium has been influenced by other modern grounds, including several similarities to English stadia. Fans have also been very supportive of the decision to remove the athletics track, meaning the four stands are very close to the pitch.
As is the same with every Italian football stadium, before you enter make sure you have a form of identity along with your match ticket, for example a passport or a driver’s licence.
You must also pass through a metal detector before taking your seat in the stadium, so double check your pockets for anything you might be stopped for.
Something else that is equivalent to other stadiums is the selling of club kit, scarves and other merchandise outside the ground, although some might not be official merchandise and could be overpriced.
Train: €25.00 return.
Hotels: €50.00 per night.
Match ticket: €10.00 – €55.00
Food: €9.50 – €13.00 for pasta, €5.80 – €10.00 for pizza