Stadio Luigi Ferraris

Classic Marassi the shared home of Samp and Genoa

The field of dreams – and the stands around it

The Luigi Ferraris, popularly known by its original name of the Marassi after the local district, is the grand old man of Italian football. This 36,600-capacity red-brick landmark just over the dried-up Bisagno river, is well over a century old, making it one of Europe’s most enduring football arenas.

Occupied by Genoa since its opening in 1911 and shared by Sampdoria since 1946, the Marassi is where Italy have played many an international, before and after the war. 

The Marassi also saw action in two World Cups, the Spain-Brazil fixture of 1934 and, after a major rebuild, four games at Italia ’90. It was here that Costa Rica beat Scotland, and David O’Leary scored the winning penalty for Ireland over Romania in a shoot-out.

With one wooden grandstand opened in 1915 and a complete ground of 51,000 capacity in place by 1934, the then Comunale began to look something like a modern-day stadium after a two-tiered stand was built in 1951.

With the stadium squeezed between the river, a prison and tight residential streets, further development wasn’t considered until it became necessary for the upcoming World Cup.

The Marassi’s present-day look dates from this 1989 revamp: the four solid corner towers in distinctive red, a higher pitch and a new upper tier.

Genoa occupy the Gradinata Nord, Sampdoria the Gradinata Sud but both sets of fans occupy most of the ground for nearly every home match except, of course, for the derby. Grifone ultras have decorated the walls along this side of the ground, where via Clavarezza meets piazzale Marassi, in Genoa iconography. 

Note also two plaques, one marking the club’s foundation on September 7, 1893, the other to pre-war Genoa stalwart and Italian international Ottavio Barbieri. 

In all cases but the derby, away fans are allocated one end of the main Tribuna nearest the Gradinata Nord, sectors OL3, TL5 and PL5. Access is through Ingresso 6 on via Monnet nearest the river.

getting there

Going to the stadium – tips and timings

Brignole Station is a 15-20min walk up along the Bisagno – head up via Canevari via the underpass, the other side of the station to the main forecourt. A number of buses run via Brignole up the east bank of the Bisagno to the Monnet-Stadio stop, and back via Brignole from the Bobbio 5/Stadio stop. The 14 goes from focal De Ferrari metro station (bus stop by Café Biosio); the 12 and 13 go from the San Giorgio metro station by the Old Port.

The 480 and 482 run up the west bank of the Bisagno, from the corner of via Fiume/viale Paulo Thaon di Revel on the station side of Brignole gardens, to Marassi/Stadio six stops away.

On match days, circular buses KM and SM via Brignole run from waterfront piazzale Kennedy and Principe Station respectively. The 47 also runs to the stadium from piazzale Kennedy instead of its usual route from De Ferrari.

getting in

Buying tickets – when, where, how and how much

Both Genoa and Sampdoria have their own ticketing arrangements and both distribute online through Listicket

On match days, the botteghini stadio on via Monnet opens from about 3-4hrs before kick-off. ID is required to purchase tickets.

What to buy

Shirts, kits, merchandise and gifts

Both Genoa and Sampdoria have their own separate merchandise outlets. 

Near the stadium at via Casata Centuriona 4, the store Off Side proffers merchandise from both sides.

Where to Drink

Pre-match beers for fans and casual visitors

As you approach the stadium from Brignole station, the best pre-match option is just up via Monticelli from the river. The Bar 90 Minuto may be small but it’s full of great design touches such as the upside-down Subbuteo pitch on the ceiling and the row of classic No.10 shirts over the bar counter, where pints go for €5, halves for €3. 

On the way there, Pizzeria Stadio is one of several snack outlets, on corso Sardegna – locals also swear by the focaccia at Il Sapore Del Peccato Di Castellini on via del Piano. Just over the river on via Monnet, the contemporary Over Restaurant is the joint venture of two specialist traders at Romagnosi market, offering €6 mixed drinks and stupendous grilled-meat dishes – if a sophisticated spread is what you’re after.

Back on the stadium side, turning right into via Centuriona, the Bar Vittorio has been there for moons, a handy pitstop slap next to the ground.

On the other side of the stadium from the river,  on corso di Stefanis, the stalwart Pizzeria Derby provides squares of pizza slathered in pesto sauce and more focaccia Genovese while next door, the Bar Ciak just about squeezes all the elements essential to an Italian bar into a small space, including a TV. 

If it’s open, it’s worth investigating the Villa Piantelli (No.8), once occupied by aristocratic Genoese families, now a multi-purpose community centre, tucked away in a verdant hidden courtyard backed up to the stadium. In grand surroundings dating back to the 1500s, it houses a first-floor bar decorated with pre-war photographs of Genoa and its football culture. It’s also the seat of the Marassi Quezzi sporting association, basically an afternoon card school for old locals.

On the corner with via Clavarezza, Edilio is a decent-quality sit-down restaurant with fish the specialty. Further down Clavarezza, the Little Club Genoa 1962 opens for members during the week and before Genoa games, done out with old match tickets and Grifone iconography. The date refers to the year of the first away trip, to Bergamo, organised by the group, said to be Italy’s first tifosi, formed in 1959.