WITH the 2020 European Championship final taking place tonight, most Bournemouth residents will be rooting for the three lions at their home or local pub.

But spare a thought for Italian nationals based in Dorset, who may feel like the odd ones out come kick off at 8pm.

There are dozens of popular Italian restaurants throughout the Bournemouth area, with nationwide chains and family run ventures a common sight on these streets. So how will these restaurants be spending tonight?

Pinocchios in Poole Hill are leaving nothing to chance, electing to close for the night in order to enjoy the game.

Andrea from Pinocchios said: “I don’t think being open on Sunday is such a good idea. Whether you’re English or Italian, I think you’ll be watching the match, not eating at a restaurant.

“We’ll all be watching at home but will of course reopen on Monday. I’m not a massive football fan but even I’m excited for it. I think Italy have a great team but England have the home advantage so it will be a tough game.”

Da Mario Wood Fired Pizza in Westbourne, on the other hand, will be going all out for the final, showing the game in the restaurant on a HD projector.

Owner Samet Macit said: “It’s entertainment for the customers so I thought, why not? A lot of the Italian community in Bournemouth will have nowhere to go to watch the match so I thought I’d give them that chance.

“We’re showing it free of charge, alongside regular restaurant service for the sole purpose of doing something nice for the customers.

“I think that we will see a mix of English and Italian fans come to us. I’ll be pulling for England but will of course respect my Italian heritage. I’ll stay diplomatic and wish them both well.”

He added: “We’re a small restaurant and our customer base is very calm so I don’t think rowdiness will be a problem. Just some light-hearted banter - I hope.”