Fans jubilant as Italy beats England, while bar owners also claim victory

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Jubilant fans flooded the streets of Little Italy to celebrate Sunday after the Italian soccer team beat their English rivals to win the Euro 2020 final.

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And while fans were happy and excited, the day was also a winner for the owners of Italian restaurants and English pubs.

Rocco Mastrangelo, who owns Cafe Diplomatico in Toronto, said the championship series reminded him of his restaurant’s days before the pandemic hit.

“I’m excited and have butterflies in my stomach. We opened reservations especially for the finals night and we’re completely booked with 160 people, which is a big chunk of our patio’s total capacity,” he said.

Mastrangelo tried to acquire a permit to expand his business to set up more tables, but it was denied due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

Italy defeated England — the team’s first time in the final of a major international competition since winning the 1966 World Cup — in a tight 3-2 win in a game that went to penalties after being level at 1-1 through regulation and extra time.

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The Queen & Beaver Public House in Toronto was expecting a full house throughout Sunday.

“Capacities are still capped because of COVID-19, which is why we’re not taking reservations, but I’m expecting to see very long lines,” said Neil Massey, the restaurant’s manager.

Pub Bishop & Bagg, meanwhile, found itself in a somewhat unusual situation. The British-style pub is located near Montreal’s Little Italy neighbourhood, so manager Megan Turcotte expected to see supporters of both teams.

“People are super excited, it brings everyone together,” she said. “They drink a lot and they are loud. Some even sit in the streets and watch from afar on our televisions.”

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Italian Anthony Colaniro, of Montreal, had never seen Italy win the Euro cup before.

“It’s all about Italy, of course!” he said. “I will be watching the game with my family — 20 people — and a lot of food!”

The desire for celebration throughout Euro 2020 has driven customers to Ottawa’s Pub Italia in droves, manager Kirsten Wright said, but as the restaurant gets busier, some new challenges are arising.

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“We’ve been having serious trouble with staffing shortages, and just making sure our patios can fit all our customers,” Wright said. “If we took reservations for Sunday, we’d have been booked up in minutes.”

  1. Harry Kane of England passes the ball during the England Training Session at St George's Park in Burton upon Trent, England. Getty Images

    Destiny on line at Euro 2020 final between England and Italy

  2. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, wishes England soccer team best of luck ahead of Euro final, in London, July 11, 2021, in this screengrab obtained by Reuters.

    ‘BRING IT HOME’: Prince William wishes England the best at Euro 2020 final

  3. Italy players celebrate reaching the final after winning the penalty shootout.

    MAMA MIA!: Italy secures spot in Euro 2020 final

— With files by Toronto Sun staff

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