Stadio Angelo Massimino (named after a former Charman) formerly known as Stadio Cibali is a multi-purpose stadium in Catania, Italy although for the majority of the time it hosts the football matches of Calcio Catania. The ground currently has a capacity of 23,420 with no current plans to expand.
Stadio Angelo Massimino first opened on 27th November 1937 with an inaugural match between ACF Catania and Foggia, with the home side nicking a narrow 1-nil win. Designed by architect Raffaele Leone and built by engineer Antonio Ferro, the stadiums construction took approximately two years in total. Upon opening it had a capacity of around 20,000 hence the nickname “Stadio dei Ventimilla” – Stadium of the Twenty Thousand”.
Ever since Catania earned promotion to Serie A in 1960 there have been persistent feelings amongst the fans that the stadium is inadequate. The management explored the feasibility of moving to a purpose-built football ground in Pantano d’Arci without an athletics track but Stadio Dèi Palici failed to materialise.
With poor on-field performances culminating in relegation to Serie C1 in the late 1980s, Catania lacked the financial base to invest in new facilities and it wouldn’t be until 1991 and 1997 that significant renovations would occurred. This brought Stadio Angelo Massimino up to a reasonable standard, and allowed it to host two national matches against Slovakia and United States.
After investment from Gsport In 2013 Massimino underwent further remodelling of the main stand in order to create more modern matchday experience. Two restaurants and executive facilities were added in order to increase the amount of matchday revenues, and satisfy updated criteria for top-flight stadiums in Italy.
The stadium was initially called Stadio Gibali upon opening but was renamed in honour of Angelo Massimino who served as the Rossazzuri’s president between 1969 and 1996. The record attendance of the modern era was set on 14th September 2002 when 23,200 people saw Catania defeat Genoa 3-2.
Stadio Angelo Massimino is comprised of four stands: North, East, South and West.
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
Watching the Match
The Rossazzuri faithful are an intense set of supporters with the Falange d’Assalto Ultras group choosing to watch the team from the Curva Nord where they encourage the team to give 100% each match despite their consistent underdog status in most Serie A matches. With the fantastic spectacle they create each match using a tapestry of flags, banners, flares to display the club’s colours, they ensure a decent atmosphere which any football fan can appreciate regardless of nationality.
The atmosphere is usually the most fierce and intimidating when Catania play Palermo in the Derby di Sicilia which is one of the greatest matches in the Italian Football calendar, providing the two teams are in the same league at the same time, with both clubs having the tenancy to flit between divisions. Occasionally the Derby can get violent with a Police Officer killed in 2007 when he was hit with a home-made explosive whilst attempting to break up a fight outside the stadium, with the game cancelled as a result forcing Italian Football to solemnly reflect upon why this had happened.
Thankfully in recent years, the safety of the stadium has being improved with the Italian equivalent of the Football association taking measure to eliminate fighting and hooliganism at football matches.
Just to clarify, the last paragraph(s) may have sounded like Catania as a club have a reputation for violence and isn’t friendly for tourists but this isn’t the case in the slightest! The above was a one off incident involving a few stupid fans and definitely not the majority.
Food and Drink
Without going on about it too much, Stadio Angelo Massimino lacks the commercial sensibilities of English Stadiums and there really isn’t much when it comes to food and drink, either inside or around the Cibali neighbourhood. You’re much better off making plans for your dinner either before or after the match with Catania’s famous Pasta alla Norma a famous dish you may want to try whilst you’re there.
Catania operate two club shops around the city with neither being directly at the stadium:
- Catania Point – Based in Torre del Grifo Village which is the clubs administrative and training base fans of the Rossazzuri can purchase a whole wealth of official merchandise from football shirts, jumpers, and gadgets. Address: Via Magenta, sn – Mascalucia (Catania) – Phone 095-7544416
- City Centre -Located in Etna not far from Angelo Massimino, this store first opened on December 14th 2013 with fans getting the chance to meet some of the players including Francesco Lodi and Nicolas Spolli. The Address is: Etna, 394 – Catania – Phone 095-7477457
Note: No opening times appear to be available online but typically in Italy shops are open in the morning, close for lunch around 12 or 1 and then reopen in the afternoon until early evening. You can always ask someone at your hotel for more information or phone the numbers above if you can speak basic conversational Italian.
There is no tour of Stadio Angelo Massimino available, so the best option is to arrive at a game slightly earlier than you normally would and spend some time taking the ground in.
There is however a tour available of Catania’s headquarters known as “Torre del Grifo Village” located 30 minutes North of the city centre in the municipality of Mascalucia which is almost but not quite near the foot of Mount Etna. The impressive complex contains the executive office of Catania’s management, 4 football pitches which the club train on as well as a gyms, a swimming pool and even restaurant, with the Etnei Etneans citing it as a major competitive advantage for the club.
Open to the public by default, you can enquire about a behind the scene’s tour by filling in this contact form.
Catania tickets are divided roughly into three pricing bands:
- Elite Tribune: A (€180.00), B (€140.00), C (€120.00)
- A Tribune: A(€100.00), B (€75.00), C (€65.00)
- Grandstand: A(€50.00), B (€40.00)
- Curva: A(€30.00), B (€24.00)
Note: Grandstand B and The Curvas do not have cheaper pricing for Category C matches.
To Purchase tickets you can buy online, at the stadium (Check when the cut off point is) or at one of the many tickets sellers throughout the city with Catania keeping an up to date list here. If in doubt or if you need assistance, remember to ask your hotel concierge who should be able to point you in the right direction.
A seating plan will be uploaded soon but for now the capacity for each stand is a follows:
- Stand A (Covered): 3,243 seats
- Grandstand B: 4,502 seats
- Curva Sud: 5,865 seats
- Curva Nord: 5,406 seats including a 1000 allocation for away fans
Matchday Transport – How to Get there?
From Giardino Bellini in the city centre, the stadium is a perfectly walk able 1.6km journey which will take you around 20-25 minutes. From Via della Concordia which leads to the harbour you’re looking at a much further journey if around 40 minutes and 3km so make sure that you strategically choose your hotel.
Train and Bus
Catania Centrale railway station is located besides the sea, close to the port of the city and has InterCity and express trains to such far flung destinations in the North of Italy such as Milan, Turin and Venice. Although there is a metro line which serves regional routes around the island of Sicily, there isn’t a station or convenient stop near to the stadium so fans are advised to either walk, get a taxi or bus.
If you’re going with the latter then you can catch either the number 4 or 7 from the stazione which run every hour or so, and take you up to Piazza Spedini Vincenzo which is right outside the Western stand of the stadium.
If you are driving then the chances are you’ll be travelling from the North (A18), in which case you need to turn off at the Catania (Centro) exit and follow the road for further 4km until you have gone through a second tunnel which leads to the Via Vincenzo Giuffrida. Stick with this road for half a kilometre and then take a right onto Via Gabriele D’annunzio when the opportunity presents itself. Follow this for 2km before making a final right turn into the Via Giuseppe Fava which should place you directly in front of the stadio.
Due to a lot of land being uninhabitable across Sicily due to the mountainous terrain and Volcanic activity, Catania is quite densely populated, with Angelo Massimino surrounding by residential housing. This means Parking is a bit of a free for all with there being a small amount of “proper” spaces around the Western side stand.
Airports and Flying
The main flight hub for the city is the Aeroporto di Catania-Fontanarossa, Catania-Fontanarossa Airport which is only 2.6 miles Southwest of the city centre. As the busiest airport in Sicily and 6th in Italy, it has a prime location with strong transport links such as the A19 Motorway nearby allowing quick access to both Catani and Palermo.
For those flying in there is a shuttle bus service which takes passengers from the airport to the city in more more than 20-30 minutes on average.
The closest hotel to the ground is easily the Casa Tina Maugeri which is a 5 minute walk back towards the city on the Via Cifali road, although it is not very luxurious. Depending on your budget and how close you want to be to either the station or city centre then you could always look at the Liberty Hotel or Il Principe Hotel. As always, these are just my picks and I encourage you to your own research here.