The Stadium – Stadio Renzo Barbera Viale del Fante 11
The Stadium has one covered stand, with three uncovered areas framed by the huge hills behind the stadium. The stands are two tiered, with both end stands curving away from the pitch. The Curve Nord is where you'll see the flares and the choreographed Tifosi (Italian for hardcore fans). Away fans will be allocated 2,000 in the Curve Sud, undoubtably surrounded significantly by the Carbonari.
Who Plays There? The club have spent most of the last fifty years in the lower reaches of Italian football, having experienced underworld interests, bankruptcy and boardroom battles. However, fortunes changed in 2002 when the club was taken over by Maurizio Zamperini who injected new funds into the club with an aim to get back to the top league within 3 years. His goal was reached in two - as Palermo's famous (and unique) pink shirts marched to the Serie B title, thanks in no part to the 30-odd goals from Luca Toni.
In their first season back in Serie A in 2004/05, Toni found scoring just as easy and hit over 20 goals for the third successive campaign, as well as being the first ever player from the club to score for the national team. The crowds also flocked back to the Renzo Barbera Stadium in 2004 with the average attendance reaching over 35,000. Palermo finished the season in and qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history. They took to European competition easily and had a decent run in the UEFA Cup, beating amongst others Brondby and Slavia Prague before losing to Schalke in the last 16.
They consolidated their league position last season, despite losing Luca Toni to Fiorentina and finished in 6th place, but due to the penalties imposed on AC Milan, Juventus and Lazio they found themselves in the final qualifying rounds of the Champions League draw. However, AC Milan's last minute ruling meant that Palermo were once again relegated back to the UEFA Cup. Palermo can look forward to an added derby this year with Calcio Catania being promoted to Serie A, and joining Messina in setting up a real powerbase in Sicily.
They start the season on the 10th September with a home game to Reggina. The players to watch when they face the Hammers include No.10 Andrea Caracciolo - a centre forward in the Luca Toni mould, Mark Bresciano the Australian World Cup midfielder and Cristian Zaccardo the first choice right back. More information on the club can be found at http://www.ilpalermocalcio.it
How to get to the Stadio Renzo Barbera The stadium is located around 5km north of the city centre, close to the A29 Autostrada in the San Lorenzo area. To get to the stadium from the Stazione Centrale, catch bus number 101 or 107. The nearest suburban station is the Imperatore Federico Stadio which is on the road of the same name just south of the stadium.
For a more detailed view on who plays where on the island go to Footiemap.com.
How to get a ticket for the Stadio Renzo Barbera Tickets can be bought online around 2 weeks before the games at http://www.ticketone.it. Tickets range in price from €27.50 for a Curva Sud ticket to €72 for a top of the range Tribuna Laterale ticket. Tickets can also be bought from a number of Snai outlets in Palermo. For the majority of matches this season, tickets will not be on sale on the day of the game.
Getting around Palermo has a good system of buses which run in all directions. A flat-fare ticket is €1.35 or an all-day ticket is €3.35 - tickets are available at kiosks at the Central Station and Piazza Verdi.
The Falcone Borsellino airport, named after two anti-mafia judges who were assassinated in the mid 1990’s, is located around 30km to the west of the city centre. Buses run every 30 minutes or so from outside the arrivals hall through the centre of town and terminating at the central station for €4.65 one way. Buses run from 06.30am. A taxi should cost no more than €40 - it may be best to agree the fare before you commence the journey. Ryanair and Easyjet fly to Palermo daily from London Stansted and Gatwick respectively.
There is also one other international airport in Sicily, on the east side of the island in Catania. This airport is served daily by British Airways from London Gatwick. To get to Palermo from Catania, catch a regular bus to the central station and then one of the bi-hourly trains to Palermo - the journey takes close to 3 hours.