Even if 90% of Romans ignore what the Superbowl is, the little minority of local American football buffs is well organized and active so as to give you several opportunities to watch the game in Rome.
Let’s start from the easy and free options. If you are staying in a hotel, B & B, hostel or residence you are very likely to have a TV set in your room or in other common spaces of your accommodation. In this case, the easiest option is the Italian TV channel La7 that every DT (digital terrestrial) TV should have. I have La7 on channel 107, others have it on the 7. Anyway it shouldn’t be difficult finding it. The comment on La7, however, will be in Italian and for sure not good ones as very few sport journalists know about american football in Italy.
If you want a US comment for the game then you need to find a satellite TV. If you are in 4 or 5 star hotel you have good chances to have one in your own room. Unfortunately, though, most hotels only have a limited choice of channels and ESPN America, channel 214, is seldom part of the package. Double-check on this.
If you decide to hit the road, follow these instructions. Don’t be fooled by bars and pubs that show the Super Bowl at midnight! 99% of them will not let you see it until the end. They’ll close around 1 or 2 and they have no choice. You know Italy is a red-tape country and there are severe rules on closing hours. Most of the bar-pub-restarant licenses have a 2 am curfew limit.
I don’t think you want to go to bed after having just seen the first half of the Super Bowl, do I?
Then, if you want to see the whole game there are 6 options in Rome.
If you are a Steelers fan you need to go to La Botticella, in via di Tor Millina 32. Very close to one of Rome’s most famous landmarks, Piazza Navona, this little pub is the Roman base of Pittsburgh buffs.
If you prefer the Packers, then you should move a couple of blocks and reach the Irish pub Abbey Theatre in via del Governo Vecchio 51, where many of them shoud gather Sunday night. This place has 7 rooms on two floors, it should be easier to find a seat here.
Another Irish pub showing the whole Pittsburgh-Green Bay game is the Scholars Lounge, in via del Plebiscito 101. This pub is literally packed with screens, big and small, therefore it will be easy to have a good view of the game, but it is not a big space and many tourists will also stop by simply beacause they happen to walk past it given its central location. I guess it will also be packed with people.
A less crowded place should be the pub Highlander. I honestly never heard of this place before writing this story. It is in a little road close to via del Corso and Lungotevere, vicolo di San Biagio 9. But if you want to reserve your seat there, you’ve got to call first and then show up before 10 pm.
If you want to watch the game amongst Italian these are the right places to go.
Hard Rock Cafe is hosting a special night with the Lazio Marines players. You might not know it and we can forgive you for that but Italy has many American football leagues, too. And the Lazio Marines play in the top one! So, if you want to enjoy the game and see how Italian Football players look like go to Via Veneto 62.
While if you are more interested in knowing Italian buffs of American football you should leave downtown Rome and go to the residential area of Ponte Milvio/Corso Francia for the event organized by Italy’s best american football website and forum, Endzone.it. The night, sponsored by ESPN America (there is another one in the Milan area, in Monza) will take place in the Crazy Bull Cafe of Via Riano, 1. And there will also be cheerleaders!