Paninaro…oh…ay…oh

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Regular readers of this blog will know I’ve a bit of a ‘thing’ for Italy and Italian culture. The Boot inspires me foodwise, clothingwise, and of course I love their football too. One of the most fascinating aspects, and certainly least documented in the UK, is Italian youth culture, and the most enigmatic period of all – the 1980s and the Paninari.

During the height of what we brits now call Thatcherism – young urban and suburban Italians were discovering Americana, hedonism and high fashion. Starting out in a burger joint in Milan early in the decade, the Paninaro phenomenon spread to the rest of Italy and beyond, and eventually found its looks replicated on the football terraces of Merrie Olde Englande in the late 1980s.

When I was in Genoa and Turin lately, I tried tracking down the eponymous Bible of the original Paninari, ‘Paninaro’. My pidgin Italian didn’t cut it at all the independent bookstores and stalls I sought out there. So, I had to turn to that love/hate internet phenomenon – good old eBay – to find some satisfaction.

For a few Euros I picked up some original and dog-eared copies of ‘Paninaro’, direct from sellers in Italy. Flicking through these is like looking at a postcard from youthful continental holidays in my schooldays. Tanned, young and happy people, dressed to the nines in Moncler, Timberland, Best Company, and Stone Island. The 1980s were the best ten years in the history of the world, and I miss them now, I really do. Enjoy these scanned pages, their like will not be seen again anytime soon. Ciao ragazzi.

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4 Responses to “Paninaro…oh…ay…oh”

  1. John Says:

    Hi you are bang with the 80s being the best I would always look forward to the european matches on the box which involved Italian teams.When I was in Italy for the 1990 world cup I was amazed by the Italian fans clothes and organisation.Another good read cheers
    Take care
    John

  2. Hamburg Casual Says:

    Absolute great find you have made there. What fantastic photos from a fantastic area. As my father is Italian I spend a lot of holidays in Italy, in Lucca in Toscany exactly where he was born. But I also saw a lot of other places off course.
    Absolute highlight for me was seeing AC Milan in San Siro several times when the Brigate Rossonere and Fossa dei Leonitheir Ultra groups were at their peak and had about 10k members. Their choreos and their organised support for the team is something I have never experienced again in this form. Incredible.
    Your comment about the Italian youth in the eighties being stylish is spot on. Never saw so much well dressed people all over the place again. The pics you posted really give an impression of the Italian teenagers of that time and their dress sense. Though these are all fashion shots arranged by professional stylists it is not so much removed from eighties street style in Italy.
    Funny you mention particular Best Company of all the brands. Their sweatshirts were obligatory for football dressers in Germany in the late 80s and early 90s. Together with Chevignon jackets and New Balance trainers this was the most popular terraces fashion.

  3. Michele Says:

    Hi guys, you can find a lot about modern paninari on Youtube.
    Here are some link:
    This is Biricide’s personal channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC14pWcTn5k1kGAe7FQHZ3Bg

    And here’s a paninari meeting in Milan in the last december:

    If You are interested, You can contact Ramon Verdoia aka Bircide trough Facebook.

    Greetings from Italy,
    Michele

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