This weekend: The Big House.
In two weekends: The Stadium of the Marbles.
(No, not those kind of marbles.)
The Michigan Wolverines football program has been tight-lipped regarding specific points of the itinerary for its trip to Rome at the end of the month, citing security concerns.
But Friday, Land of 10 received some information from officials at the Federazione Italiana di American Football (FIDAF) — or the Italian Federation of American Football, one of the university’s logistical partners — as to how the Wolverines’ April 22-30 journey is expected to wrap up.
On April 27, Michigan players and staff will be practicing at the Giulio Onesti Olympic Training Center in Rome and are also scheduled to attend “educational activities” at the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) School of Sport. They’re scheduled to practice from approximately 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the training center — or from 3 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Ann Arbor time.
The next day, on Friday, April 28, the Wolverines are again slated to practice from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. local time at the training center, and will attend a screening of the documentary Free Safety — A Journey of Change, followed by a discussion at the Olympic Training Center.
The FIDAF has also scheduled a coaches clinic, free of charge, to run from 3 until 4:30 p.m. local time.
The Wolverines’ scrimmage is April 29 at the Stadio dei Marmi — which translates from Italian as Stadium of the Marbles — with a 2 p.m. kickoff locally, or 8 a.m. Ann Arbor time.
Stadio dei Marmi, completed in 1928 and opened in 1932, is notable for marble steps that are lined by 59 marble statues of athletes posed while performing several sporting disciplines. (Although the classic Heisman Trophy pose is not believed to be one of them.)
The FIDAF is also hosting an American-style tailgate in conjunction with the event, as indicated in a recent release:
The doors to the Marmi Stadium open at 2:00 pm and FIDAF’s members and guests can come and watch (registration required) “THE GAME,” a spectacular way to wrap up the Michigan athletes’ trip to Rome. Is that it? Of course not! In good ol’ fashioned stars-and-stripes style we’re having a “Tailgate Party” before the game. This super exclusive invitation-only event will be attended by the City of Rome’s top sporting and political figures as well as our federation’s guests, offering a fantastic opportunity for everyone to meet and seal a partnership that (we hope) will continue for years to come.