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Dolfan in NYC

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Guest Edwin

Got back from my vacation in Italy and Spain on Sunday.

Football related -- I visited the Allianz Stadium, San Siro, Wanda Metropolitano, Santiago Bernabéu, Mestalla and Camp Nou.

The Allianz Stadium museum is magical and a must see for any football fan. The trophy room is particularly mesmerizing. The stadium is new and it's still in very good shape and the tour is guided in Italian, but they give you a headset which you can use to listen to a pre-recorded audio of what the tour guide is saying, but they are very protective of everything and don't let you sit or touch almost anything. You do get a chance to walk through the tunnel and through the dressing rooms, but at a distance. It has a small shopping mall on one of the sides that leads you to the stadium. Juve signed Perin while I was in Italy and he had his medical the day after I was at the stadium. The store is pretty big and neat and I was able to grab a Bernardeschi home jersey, a Dybala alternate jersey, a lanyard for me, a lanyard for my wife and a key chain.

The San Siro was the most underwhelming tour. The stadium is pretty old and a the museum isn't really much of a museum and just a small room with a ton of old torn jerseys from Milan, Inter and a lot of other clubs they have played big matches against. Milan's memorabilia is stored near by at Casa Milan which I opted not to go to. The tour is done by yourself and you get a chance to visit both, Milan and Inter's locker rooms and walk through the tunnel and sit on the sideline benches. Not really worth going to unless you are bored in Milan. I didn't get anything at the store, but it's mostly Milan stuff and there isn't as much Inter merch and the store is smaller than Juve's.

The Wanda Metropolitano, as a Colchonero is a magical place. I got watery eyed walking on the Paseo de Leyendas. It's basically Atleti's version of the Hollywood's Walk of Fame. There's a huge flag on the outside flying high and a huge "Coraje y Corazón" sign on the outside. Since we went on a Sunday, I wasn't able to do the guided tour, so I did the tour by myself with my wife. The stadium is new and in great shape. There's a ton of club philosophy material all over the stadium and you get to walk to their locker room, conference room and through the tunnel. Once you make it through the tunnel, they had the Europa League cup on display and they let you sit on the bench. They also had a small display of some of their trophies on the inside which were accessible and they had a small room dedicated to Fernando Torres. Another must see for any football fan. The store is awesome. It's 2 floors and there's a ton of merch. I got a Koke home jersey and a couple of days later we went to their other store at Gran Via and I got a Godín alternate jersey and my wife got a Saúl home jersey.

The Santiago Bernabéu tour was pretty fun as they have a ton of historical trophies all over the place. The stadium is also huge. I'm an Madrid fan by any chance, but even I thought it was good and a must for any football fan.

The Mestalla is an older stadium and could do with some reconstruction similar to the San Siro. The tour is guided, but the tour guide is lenient and you get to go through the locker rooms and take photos on the benches on the pitch and such. The store isn't at the stadium though, it's across the street. I was able to purchase a Goncalo Guedes home jersey. Another stadium that's not worth really going out of your way to see, but if you're in Valencia and bored, then give it a shot as it's relatively short.

The Camp Nou is the same as the Bernabéu. The store however is far bigger. It's a 3 floor store with a ton of merch. I was able to get a Piqué home jersey.

Aside from that, I was able to visit the Calcioitalia.com store in Rome which has a lot of merch. I was able to get a Gabriel Jesus Manchester City home jersey, a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic Lazio home jersey and a Francesco Totti home jersey there.

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