Picture it now: it’s mid-September on the outskirts of Rome. The sultry sun is prowling its way across the sky; the air smells faintly of pasta and Aperol; a single bead of sweat glimmers on your forehead as your peer through oversized sunglasses at Michael Jung as he picks his way through a corner complex. You’re fuelled wholly by quality carbs and Italianate day-drinking, and if anyone were to ask, you’d tell them honestly — and hazily — that you’ve probably never been happier. Later on, you’re planning to cool down from a day of top-notch eventing action by climbing into the Trevi fountain and recreating that iconic scene from La Dolce Vita, but for now, this is the only place you’d like to be: Pratoni del Vivaro, surrounded by the world’s very best eventers.
If this all sounds right up your street, you’ll be delighted to hear that Pratoni opened its box office today — and while the ticket pricing has had us all scratching our heads a bit, there are some super deals to be had. For weeklong visitors, you can get a season pass for as little as €96 (or $110), or upgrade yourself to the VIP pavilion, which gives you upgraded parking, an exclusive bar, lounge and ‘relaxation area’, and, we presume, the chance to get a little bit closer to your heroes. That’s just €143.85 ($165) for the whole week if you use the promo code currently available on the site. Or, if you’re just hoping to pop in for a single day, you can buy day tickets for prices as low as €6.83 ($7.80) for grounds passes without reserved grandstand seating. Under-12s will be able to enjoy free tickets all week, and parking is free and serviced by a shuttle to the grounds. Check out the box office for more info and to get your passes. Of course, it’s worth noting that this year’s World Championship isn’t like the World Equestrian Games of previous cycles: instead of featuring all the disciplines in one facility, the competitions have now been split. Eventing will be followed by combined driving at Pratoni in the following week, while showjumping and dressage will be held in Herning, Denmark.
The event will run from September 14-18, and is situated in Rocca di Papa, a southern suburb of Rome. You’ll find a number of hotels and B&Bs in the immediate area, but move fast — now that the box office is open, we’re expecting to see many of these snapped up by fans and the teams themselves. Options next to the nearby lakes, Lago de Nemi and Lago Albino, look particularly promising if you want to cool down somewhere scenic after a long day of spicy eventing action, or check out hotels near Rome’s Ciampino airport, which is situated between the event and the city. If you fancy staying closer to the city itself, look in the Municipio VII area – you’ll be about a 30 minute drive from the competition and really close to the hub of Rome, which is so worth a lengthy visit. Stay tuned – we’ll share some of our favourite hotel options to help you get your trip set and sorted!