|Atalanta's Stadio Comunale in Bergamo|
The long, straight main thoroughfare that runs from the railway station in the Città Bassa (lower town) in the direction of the Città Alta is expected to be thronged with as many as 100,000 people as the Bergamo soccer team, Atalanta, celebrates promotion to Serie A, Italy’s equivalent of the English Premier League.
Atalanta have been out of the elite division only for one year but their instant return has delighted club president Antonio Percassi, who has invited the whole town to join in La Notte NeroAzzura -- the night of the black and blues.
He has even ordered the rapid manufacture of 20,000 flags in the club's black and blue colours to encourage supporters to display their allegiance.
“I’d like to see the Atalanta colours on display on every balcony, in every window across the whole province of Bergamo,” Percassi said.
A triumphal parade along Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, with the victorious players greeting supporters from the team coach, will be the culmination of celebrations that begin at Atalanta’s final home match against Cittadella, which kicks off at 15:00 at the Stadio Comunale.
A celebration of music and dance on the pitch will mark the entrance of the players, who will re-emerge after the game has finished to thank fans for their support during the season.
Meanwhile, along Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, street entertainers will keep the crowds amused while giant television screens at the Propylae -- the pillared gateway at Porta Nuova -- and nearby Piazza Vittorio Veneto will show highlights from Atalanta’s season.
The team coach will leave Piazza Matteotti at 21:00 to proceed slowly along Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, turning round in front of the railway station at Piazzale Marconi before heading back in the opposite direction.
Once back at Piazza Matteotti, the players will disembark to be presented to supporters on a stage erected in the square. Celebrations will continue until around midnight.
The NeroAzzuri clinched promotion with a 4-1 victory over next-to-bottom Portosummaga, a club from the town of Portogruaro in Veneto, in their last home game and followed that with a win at relegation-threatened local rivals, Albinoleffe, last Monday to lead the Serie B table by three points from Siena.
Another win on Saturday and they would need only one point from their final game, away to Tuscan team Grosseto, to be promoted as champions, an honour that might be handed to them sooner if Siena fail to beat promotion-chasing Varese at home on Monday.
|Route the team coach will follow|
(see the official Atalanta Calcio website)