Italy captain Lamaro discusses his favourite parts of living in Rome as Italy Guinness Six Nations tickets go on sale

For over twenty years, Rome has been a bucket-list destination for away fans in the Guinness Six Nations.

For over twenty years, Rome has been a bucket-list destination for away fans in the Guinness Six Nations.

Tickets for Italy’s 2024 fixtures against England and Scotland recently went on sale so what better time for Azzurri captain – and bona fide Roman – Michele Lamaro to explain what makes the Eternal City such a special place for travelling rugby fans?

“There’s no city in the world you can compare to Rome,” says the talismanic forward. “The sense of history you get simply taking a walk through the city centre is unbelievable. You can marvel at how many civilisations have walked through those very same streets.”

And Rome’s famous culinary scene? You don’t need to be a 100kg-plus rugby player to make the most of that – but it helps. “If you ask me about food, I would always tell you to go and get a good carbonara, because nobody else does it better than a Roman.”

If you’re after another hearty pasta dish – and when in Rome, why not? – Lamaro recommends one that’s native to the city. “Try the cacio e pepe. It’s very difficult to do, so you won’t find many places outside of Rome that do it well,” he says of this ‘cheese and pepper’ specialty.

Lamaro highlights two places that figured prominently in his childhood: Gianicolo – or Janiculum Hill – set away from the crowds and with its breathtaking panoramic views of the entire city, and Piazza Navona, “one of the most beautiful places in Rome.”

The famous piazza, he says, “will always have a place in my heart. It’s right in the city centre, and there’s a big fountain there, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi [Fountain of the Four Rivers], which is spectacular.”

A city of close to three million people may often find itself split down the middle between Lazio and Roma supporters, but Lamaro describes a place that turns all its focus onto its national XV when the Guinness Six Nations comes to town.

“The Championship creates a lot of talk between families and friends,” explains the 25-year-old. “The whole rugby community goes crazy and you have lots of kids talking about the competition. It’s the main event for any rugby fan in Italy, so it’s a very big moment.

“Coming to see a Six Nations game in Rome is special, because you get to witness first-hand the passion that comes from the players and the crowds of people who have come from all over the country to watch us.

“They have all this passion inside them for the sport and that’s something you can feel the stadium and out on the city streets on game day.”

Michele Lamaro’s Top 5 Things to do in Rome on match day:Enjoy the views at Gianicolo (Janiculum): Cult followers of the god Janus used this lofty position to interpret omens from the movement of birds, but today it’s the perfect location to take that all-important landscape shot of the world-famous city.Piazza Navona: Before heading to the Stadio Olimpico to watch the Azzurri, visit the site of Rome’s ancient games, which has featured in a number of Hollywood films from The Talented Mr Ripley to The Da Vinci Code.Walk the Via del Corso: This is the “real city centre,” according to Lamaro. “Exploring all the little streets that are not really the main thoroughfare – that’s how you see what Rome is about.”Eat like a Roman: Build up your energy with the famous cacio e pape or a good carbonara.

Have a post-match drink in Ponte Milvio: “It’s a good place to be and hang out with your new Italian friends and enjoy the night.”

Italy v England, 3rd February, 15:15 local time, Stadio Olimpico.

Italy v Scotland, 9th March, 15:15 local time, Stadio Olimpico.

Tickets for next year’s Guinness Six Nations matches in Rome can be found here.