September not only means back to school but also (for many of us) back to football. While the sun has already set on the fourth day of the Italian football championships, and the UEFA Champions League is into its second, the new Nations League has seen Italy forge its way back onto the international scene, despite the nasty taste in the mouth left by Andre Silva’s goal. Perhaps the Azzurri are even now mulling things over and devising a new strategy at the Federal Technical Centre of Coverciano (CTF). Certainly we all hope so. Not least because there can be no better place for Italy’s national football team to reflect and regroup than the CTF.
Situated in the stunning Florentine foothills below Fiesole, the CTF was inaugurated on 6th November 1958 and was the first ever sports facility to belong to a football federation. The complex includes the Football Museum, the Technical Sector offices, the headquarters of the Italian Football Coaches Association and of the National Amateur League Regional Committee, the office of the Regional Referees Committee and of the Florentine section of the Italian Referees Association. The centre recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, embarking on an extensive and comprehensive restyling project made possible by the partnership between the FIGC Italian Football Federation and FederlegnoArredo. The home of the Italian national teams, of the most famous School for Referees in the world and of the newly set up VAR training centre constitutes a point of reference for international football, which is why the FIGC is committed not just to boosting its functionality but also its image.
The partnership between the FIGC and the federation of wood and furnishing design industries was sealed in late 2016, with a project providing for the replacement of the flooring, lighting and furnishing in five areas within the centre, which involved 11 leading sectoral companies: ANM Parquet, Arper, Ditre Italia, Flos, Saviola Group, Kartell, Natuzzi, New Design Porte, Poliform, Poltrona Frau and Way. The project was entrusted to the architect Giancarlo Tintori, founder of the Italian Design & Architecture Agency, and re-emphasises Coverciano’s status as the international benchmark for Made in Italy style, comfort and functionality.
Five different areas were involved in the restyling operation, geared to optimising all the spaces. An iconic double-sided craftsman-made backlit diamond pattern wall with inlaid polychrome wood was installed in the hall; relaxation and meeting areas were created in the lounge behind the bar area, complete with designer sofas, armchairs, tables, coffee tables, lighting and bookcase; the bar area was entirely refurnished, with new chairs and lamps in the restaurant and a digital print of Florence affixed to the main wall; a huge made-to-measure conference table referencing the diamond pattern wall in the hall went into the Sala Righetti, along with office chairs and a new blue velvet panel displaying the trademark national team shirts of the Azzurri.
The operations carried out with FederlegnoArredo brought the general refurbishment of the Centre to completion. Restructuring work was carried out to the sports infrastructures (pitches and changing rooms) first and foremost, while the hotel facilities were upgraded, the medical section spaces enlarged and the former gym turned into a conference auditorium.