Fans

Get your fix

We visit the body shop where the mechanics don’t just tinker with cars: this father-and-sons team are driving an inter-generational love of their football club too

INTERVIEW Paolo Menicucci | PHOTOGRAPHY Claudio Villa

If you have visited Milan, you’ll know the Navigli district. You had a nice aperitivo in a charming bar by a canal and perhaps you experienced the atmosphere of Vicolo Lavandai, where laundrymen once knelt to rub clothes on stone slabs. But men did not just wash clothes here at the start of the last century: they also played football. Inter’s first playing field – a gravel pitch bordered by fruit boxes – was in this area, with boats ready to retrieve any balls that ended up in the canal. And here too is another historic calcio landmark: Carrozzeria Inter, a car bodyshop that’s a temple for the Nerazzurri faithful.  

Inside you will find Vittorio Fiamberti – who opened the business in 1961 – and his sons Corrado and Riccardo. All of them wear mechanic uniforms bearing the Inter logo, paired with an elegant black-and-blue tie. And all of them have a mission: to transmit their love of Inter to younger generations. “The perverse thought of opening a car body shop and naming it after Inter came in November 1961, three years before our first European Cup title,” says Vittorio. “I was 19. After those victories, I painted the trophies outside the shop myself.”

It did not take long to become a cult destination for Inter fans – and players. “It started with [Mario] Bertini, then [Mario] Corso, [Tarcisio] Burgnich, [Giacinto] Facchetti and [Sandro] Mazzola, who still brings his car here from time to time,” says Vittorio. “They were coming as customers but not only that: they wanted to learn what ‘Interismo’ really is.”

The Carrozzeria Inter is a treasure trove of Nerazzurri history

Being an Inter fan is peculiar for one main reason, the trio agree. “Our pride is not related to results,” says elder sibling Corrado. “The way you take defeats defines you as a fan; it’s easy to support a team that’s always winning.” Vittorio smiles and adds: “Inter fans know disappointment all too well. They have their feet on the ground when they think about the future. They know that disappointment can always be around the corner.”

Vittorio did a great job passing on his passion to his sons; now they are trying to do the same with the youngsters visiting their shop. “It takes time to understand and live up to the mission,” says Corrado. “Inter is a childish emotion. I was born with it. I see children coming here and they don’t know anything about Inter’s history but are fascinated by this place. Talking about Inter is a beautiful thing: you have no religious, political or philosophical obligations.”

There’s a vast array of photos, shirts and memorabilia inside the shop. “We never go in search of items,” says Corrado. “People come here and bring things, and we prefer to buy shirts at the club’s charity auctions.” Indeed, they once beat former Inter president Massimo Moratti in an auction for a Zlatan Ibrahimović jersey. There are no hard feelings though: Vittorio shows us a plaque that was recently donated by Moratti, along with a letter. Riccardo also points to a photo with the three of them and the 2009/10 treble trophies at Moratti’s house, taken a month after the Champions League final.

“He invited us to his private party. It’s one of those absurd memories that people don’t believe when you tell them. We introduce ourselves every time we meet him and he always replies, ‘I know you!’”

“THE WAY YOU TAKE DEFEATS DEFINES YOU AS A FAN; IT’S EASY TO SUPPORT A TEAM THAT ALWAYS WINS”
Corrado Fiamberti

The trio rarely venture abroad to watch Inter in Europe. “We love our stadium, we love our colours,” says Corrado. “We don’t even go to watch the derby when AC Milan are the home team because we don’t like to see our stadium in red and black. We love it in black and blue.”

They never miss a home game, however – and they have their routines. “We always take the same car when we’re on a winning streak,” says Corrado. “When we climb up the San Siro towers, we always scream ‘Ciao, Dejan!’ It started when [Dejan] Stanković was playing for Inter; we felt that the players in the dressing rooms could hear us from a certain spot in the tower and we keep on doing it, even if Stanković isn’t playing any more.” Always together, father and sons.

Once, however, they decided to go their separate ways, for what happened to be the most important game in Inter’s recent history. “I decided to go to Madrid for the 2010 Champions League final,” says Corrado. “I knew I was going to miss the great party at home but I still decided to go to Madrid alone. My dad and brother had tickets but they gave them away. I went because I thought that one member of the family should be there. After the final whistle I sat down. I said to myself: ‘Lock this moment in your mind forever. Because few moments are so important in life – and in the future you may need to think about this again.’"

If you have visited Milan, you’ll know the Navigli district. You had a nice aperitivo in a charming bar by a canal and perhaps you experienced the atmosphere of Vicolo Lavandai, where laundrymen once knelt to rub clothes on stone slabs. But men did not just wash clothes here at the start of the last century: they also played football. Inter’s first playing field – a gravel pitch bordered by fruit boxes – was in this area, with boats ready to retrieve any balls that ended up in the canal. And here too is another historic calcio landmark: Carrozzeria Inter, a car bodyshop that’s a temple for the Nerazzurri faithful.  

Inside you will find Vittorio Fiamberti – who opened the business in 1961 – and his sons Corrado and Riccardo. All of them wear mechanic uniforms bearing the Inter logo, paired with an elegant black-and-blue tie. And all of them have a mission: to transmit their love of Inter to younger generations. “The perverse thought of opening a car body shop and naming it after Inter came in November 1961, three years before our first European Cup title,” says Vittorio. “I was 19. After those victories, I painted the trophies outside the shop myself.”

It did not take long to become a cult destination for Inter fans – and players. “It started with [Mario] Bertini, then [Mario] Corso, [Tarcisio] Burgnich, [Giacinto] Facchetti and [Sandro] Mazzola, who still brings his car here from time to time,” says Vittorio. “They were coming as customers but not only that: they wanted to learn what ‘Interismo’ really is.”

Read the full story
Sign up now – or sign in – to read the rest of this feature and access all articles for free. Once you have signed up you will also be able to enter exclusive competitions and win great prizes.
The Carrozzeria Inter is a treasure trove of Nerazzurri history

Being an Inter fan is peculiar for one main reason, the trio agree. “Our pride is not related to results,” says elder sibling Corrado. “The way you take defeats defines you as a fan; it’s easy to support a team that’s always winning.” Vittorio smiles and adds: “Inter fans know disappointment all too well. They have their feet on the ground when they think about the future. They know that disappointment can always be around the corner.”

Vittorio did a great job passing on his passion to his sons; now they are trying to do the same with the youngsters visiting their shop. “It takes time to understand and live up to the mission,” says Corrado. “Inter is a childish emotion. I was born with it. I see children coming here and they don’t know anything about Inter’s history but are fascinated by this place. Talking about Inter is a beautiful thing: you have no religious, political or philosophical obligations.”

There’s a vast array of photos, shirts and memorabilia inside the shop. “We never go in search of items,” says Corrado. “People come here and bring things, and we prefer to buy shirts at the club’s charity auctions.” Indeed, they once beat former Inter president Massimo Moratti in an auction for a Zlatan Ibrahimović jersey. There are no hard feelings though: Vittorio shows us a plaque that was recently donated by Moratti, along with a letter. Riccardo also points to a photo with the three of them and the 2009/10 treble trophies at Moratti’s house, taken a month after the Champions League final.

“He invited us to his private party. It’s one of those absurd memories that people don’t believe when you tell them. We introduce ourselves every time we meet him and he always replies, ‘I know you!’”

“THE WAY YOU TAKE DEFEATS DEFINES YOU AS A FAN; IT’S EASY TO SUPPORT A TEAM THAT ALWAYS WINS”
Corrado Fiamberti

The trio rarely venture abroad to watch Inter in Europe. “We love our stadium, we love our colours,” says Corrado. “We don’t even go to watch the derby when AC Milan are the home team because we don’t like to see our stadium in red and black. We love it in black and blue.”

They never miss a home game, however – and they have their routines. “We always take the same car when we’re on a winning streak,” says Corrado. “When we climb up the San Siro towers, we always scream ‘Ciao, Dejan!’ It started when [Dejan] Stanković was playing for Inter; we felt that the players in the dressing rooms could hear us from a certain spot in the tower and we keep on doing it, even if Stanković isn’t playing any more.” Always together, father and sons.

Once, however, they decided to go their separate ways, for what happened to be the most important game in Inter’s recent history. “I decided to go to Madrid for the 2010 Champions League final,” says Corrado. “I knew I was going to miss the great party at home but I still decided to go to Madrid alone. My dad and brother had tickets but they gave them away. I went because I thought that one member of the family should be there. After the final whistle I sat down. I said to myself: ‘Lock this moment in your mind forever. Because few moments are so important in life – and in the future you may need to think about this again.’"

If you have visited Milan, you’ll know the Navigli district. You had a nice aperitivo in a charming bar by a canal and perhaps you experienced the atmosphere of Vicolo Lavandai, where laundrymen once knelt to rub clothes on stone slabs. But men did not just wash clothes here at the start of the last century: they also played football. Inter’s first playing field – a gravel pitch bordered by fruit boxes – was in this area, with boats ready to retrieve any balls that ended up in the canal. And here too is another historic calcio landmark: Carrozzeria Inter, a car bodyshop that’s a temple for the Nerazzurri faithful.  

Inside you will find Vittorio Fiamberti – who opened the business in 1961 – and his sons Corrado and Riccardo. All of them wear mechanic uniforms bearing the Inter logo, paired with an elegant black-and-blue tie. And all of them have a mission: to transmit their love of Inter to younger generations. “The perverse thought of opening a car body shop and naming it after Inter came in November 1961, three years before our first European Cup title,” says Vittorio. “I was 19. After those victories, I painted the trophies outside the shop myself.”

It did not take long to become a cult destination for Inter fans – and players. “It started with [Mario] Bertini, then [Mario] Corso, [Tarcisio] Burgnich, [Giacinto] Facchetti and [Sandro] Mazzola, who still brings his car here from time to time,” says Vittorio. “They were coming as customers but not only that: they wanted to learn what ‘Interismo’ really is.”

The Carrozzeria Inter is a treasure trove of Nerazzurri history

Being an Inter fan is peculiar for one main reason, the trio agree. “Our pride is not related to results,” says elder sibling Corrado. “The way you take defeats defines you as a fan; it’s easy to support a team that’s always winning.” Vittorio smiles and adds: “Inter fans know disappointment all too well. They have their feet on the ground when they think about the future. They know that disappointment can always be around the corner.”

Vittorio did a great job passing on his passion to his sons; now they are trying to do the same with the youngsters visiting their shop. “It takes time to understand and live up to the mission,” says Corrado. “Inter is a childish emotion. I was born with it. I see children coming here and they don’t know anything about Inter’s history but are fascinated by this place. Talking about Inter is a beautiful thing: you have no religious, political or philosophical obligations.”

There’s a vast array of photos, shirts and memorabilia inside the shop. “We never go in search of items,” says Corrado. “People come here and bring things, and we prefer to buy shirts at the club’s charity auctions.” Indeed, they once beat former Inter president Massimo Moratti in an auction for a Zlatan Ibrahimović jersey. There are no hard feelings though: Vittorio shows us a plaque that was recently donated by Moratti, along with a letter. Riccardo also points to a photo with the three of them and the 2009/10 treble trophies at Moratti’s house, taken a month after the Champions League final.

“He invited us to his private party. It’s one of those absurd memories that people don’t believe when you tell them. We introduce ourselves every time we meet him and he always replies, ‘I know you!’”

“THE WAY YOU TAKE DEFEATS DEFINES YOU AS A FAN; IT’S EASY TO SUPPORT A TEAM THAT ALWAYS WINS”
Corrado Fiamberti

The trio rarely venture abroad to watch Inter in Europe. “We love our stadium, we love our colours,” says Corrado. “We don’t even go to watch the derby when AC Milan are the home team because we don’t like to see our stadium in red and black. We love it in black and blue.”

They never miss a home game, however – and they have their routines. “We always take the same car when we’re on a winning streak,” says Corrado. “When we climb up the San Siro towers, we always scream ‘Ciao, Dejan!’ It started when [Dejan] Stanković was playing for Inter; we felt that the players in the dressing rooms could hear us from a certain spot in the tower and we keep on doing it, even if Stanković isn’t playing any more.” Always together, father and sons.

Once, however, they decided to go their separate ways, for what happened to be the most important game in Inter’s recent history. “I decided to go to Madrid for the 2010 Champions League final,” says Corrado. “I knew I was going to miss the great party at home but I still decided to go to Madrid alone. My dad and brother had tickets but they gave them away. I went because I thought that one member of the family should be there. After the final whistle I sat down. I said to myself: ‘Lock this moment in your mind forever. Because few moments are so important in life – and in the future you may need to think about this again.’"

close
To access this article, as well as all CJ+ content and competitions, you will need a subscription to Champions Journal.
Already a subscriber? Sign in