The streets of central Naples were quiet, except for the low murmur of TVs and radios all tuned to the same match: Juventus v Napoli. But as the game entered stoppage time, the pall was broken by a collective gasp followed by an eruption of cheers and whistles as Napoli scored to make it 1-0.
As Napoli closed out the victory last weekend, the rumbling of people jumping up and down in their homes could be heard, like a train passing though the city.
The win means that if league leaders Napoli beat local rivals Salernitana on Sunday and second-placed Lazio fail to beat Inter Milan the same day, the Partenopei will win Serie A for the third time in their history and the first since Diego Maradona led them to the Scudetto in 1990.
Napoli fans swarmed the Capodichino airport to welcome the players back to Naples after the Juventus match, and many followed the team’s bus on mopeds and in cars as it made its way back to the stadium, offering a taste of what the celebrations would look like if Napoli wins the league on Sunday.
Bakeries are selling blue and white bread, bars have introduced blue drinks and pastry shops are full of cakes adorned with the faces of Napoli players.
The municipality has already closed some streets to non-urgent traffic and has designated celebration points across several of the city’s biggest squares.
It is a situation that just a few years ago was unimaginable for Napoli fans. And for many Neapolitans, the celebrations will symbolise much more than a beloved football team winning a championship.