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Verona, Veneto August 15th 2022 Sunday 19:53 Sunny, Clear sky, 26*C |Take a walk down the Ponte Pietra across the Adige River. Enjoy the fresh breeze sweeping across the bridge in the warm summer evening. Gaze at the sky surrounding in every shade of red as the sun is starting to set. Past the bridge and through the gate as you walk down the narrow streets. Fading Roman remnants on the buildings down the alleys as they turn and twist down to the old Catholic church, Chiesa Santa Anastasia. Built in the late 1200's in Gothic architecture, the shell of the church reveals little of the beautiful secrets kept inside. The light and color leading peacefully down the grand hall with parts in white and red Verona marble as frescoes elegantly pride the walls. Elegant mosaics in warm nuances as the church ends in an apse. Beyond the church lies restaurants and cafées on every corner. The smell of pasta dishes, spices, parmesan, fresh basil pleases your senses as waiters greet you, "Buonasera mio amico!" A soft, deep voice accompanied by the chitarra battente – an Italian strumming guitar - is heard as you turn the following corner down a small alleyway. No money is asked for, his music is his gift. Further down the cobbled alley a roar is heard in the distance. The rumble grows stronger and stronger. The harmonic, idyllic scenery ignored. With a growing determination you march to what is slowly revealed in the far. The great oval Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, home of Hellas Verona and ChievoVerona. Cheers and roars from the loyal Hellas Ultras raising it's intensity. You buy a ticket for the arena from a dodgy looking guy on the corner, no blinking. But that does not bother you, you just have to be a part of it. With a beer in one hand and a folder listing the lineups, stories from the players alongside ads from local carpenters you enter the arena. The atmosphere quickly grabs your attention as you take a swig of the beer. The curva catches your eye and never lets go again. The ultras ragged reputation matters little now. The singing, the support, the intensity all steal away your breath. As you admire the curva's banners one specific stands out among the rest. 'Brigate Elkjaer' written in yellow on a blue background. Even all these years after he played a vital part in winning them their first and only Scudetto, he is still remembered. The man who was known as a Raging Bull on the pitch.| Il Sindaco di Verona Preben Elkjær