How do you get from this:

To this??

As it turns out, slowly!

Our first indication of what was in store for San Maurizio’s children came when these signs were posted above the site of the annual Sgabei Fest:

Construction Details

Artistic rendering of the new soccer field

As you can see, the work was due to begin on September 8, 2009, which (more or less) it did; it was due to be finished in April of 2010, which it wasn’t, not by a long stretch.  The Grand Opening was held on June 19, 2011, more than a year  late.

It was an ambitious project, and was often thwarted by bad weather.  There were also long periods when nothing whatever was done.  San Maurizio is on a steep hill, and no doubt there were complications constructing an area large enough to accommodate a soccer field on the side of the mountain.

Or part of a soccer field, anyway.  It’s not full-size (though to my surprise there is not one standard size for soccer fields, though there is a standard range within which the field must fit).  One of my friends said that the dimensions of our new field will permit play between two teams of five each – which is probably about right for a little town like ours.  What matters is not the size of the field, but the fact that our kids will be able to play the game, which is a national passion in Italy.

The first bit of work was to build a road to the site.

This was done in 2009, with the major part of the remaining construction done in 2010.  New walls had to be built, a foundation for the field itself prepared, and a small building built (I hope to house a kitchen for future sgabei fests).  You can see most of these projects in various stages of completion below.

Now that it’s finished, the long delay doesn’t seem so important.  What is important is that the children of San Maurizio have a place to play and to hone their football skills.  It turns out it was well worth the wait.

Fireworks (of course!) to celebrate the Grand Opening

Sindico Campodonico kicks a ceremonial first ball

You can see an album of photos of the progress of the construction here. We were out of town for long periods, so there are gaps in the coverage. But it will give you a good idea of what went into this civic project.

September 4, 2011, addendum:  New plantings and a new building have been added to the soccer facility over the past week!

We still haven’t seen any game playing, but maybe now that the weather has turned cooler the children will get out their soccer balls.  I hope.