Mixing football with travel fun

Travel Ideas

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You might have gathered from some past posts on this blog that, here at Superbreak, we like a bit of football fun! I’m definitely an avid supporter of these football shenanigans, but can’t say I’m much of a player myself. That said, I do tend to get quite involved when there’s a big match or tournament on – like last year, I got very obsessed with Euro 2008, despite England’s failure to qualify.

Football in May is quite enjoyable too as the month seems to be full of league finals, both here and elsewhere in Europe. A few of my friends are Everton fans and they’re heading down to London for the FA Cup Final against Chelsea at the end of month. One of them is taking his son who’s never been to London before, and was asking me for tips on family attractions in the capital. Of course, I duly obliged but it got me thinking – pairing a football outing with an actual holiday would be the perfect way to fit a timely short break into your life.

For instance, I know – ok, well I was told! – that at least one team from the English Premier League will be in the Champions League Final, depending on who wins the Barcelona v Chelsea and Arsenal v Manchester United semi finals. But whoever’s in it, there’s sure to be plenty of British tourists and football fans in Rome for the final on May 27th. If you’re visiting and you’ve never been to Rome before, it’s the perfect time to take in some of its ancient delights. The Coliseum really is a sight to behold, as is the Roman Forum and too many other relics of Old Rome to mention here.

My favourite part of Rome, however, is the Trastevere district, which is replete with mesmerising cobbled streets and has some wonderfully authentic bars and restaurants. And, unsurprisingly, I love the food too! To me, there are few things better than relaxing in a Roman piazza and enjoying some authentic cannelloni with a glass of red wine that’s probably been bottled only a few miles down the road.

Rome isn’t the only place you can mix football and fun this month either. This year’s UEFA Cup Final is on May 20th in Istanbul – no English or Scottish teams here in 2009 though. Still, if you’re going to be in town, there’s so much to do in this city, Turkey’s biggest and most cultural. I only paid a fleeting visit there a few years ago on route to somewhere else, but I was very impressed and have always wanted to go back. Views along the Bosphorus, which divides the city, are spectacular and there’s some great food (more than just Doner kebabs!).

Maybe next year’s World Cup in South Africa will have more people visiting the country too. Perhaps I should start preparing my South Africa travel guide for my football mad friends now… In any case, it’ll have to wait until after I’m back from my long weekend in Edinburgh. Enjoy the bank holiday and I’ll be sure to report back with the latest buzz from the Scottish capital next week!

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