ROME (AP) -- When Carpi goes to play at Milan's San Siro stadium next season, all 70,000 of the town's residents would fit inside.
The club from Emilia-Romagna this week completed a fairytale-like first promotion to Italy's Serie A, just five years after being in fifth division.
"There are no adjectives that can describe this extraordinary achievement," Fabrizio Castori, Carpi's 60-year-old manager said. "There are just some great guys here that I've had the privilege to coach."
Carpi clinched promotion with four matches to spare following a 0-0 draw at home with Bari on Tuesday.
For most of its 106-year history, Carpi was mired in the lowest divisions of Italian football.
But when textile executive Stefano Bonacini took over the club in 2010, the squad began to climb up division by division. Now, after just two seasons in Serie B, it has reached the top rung.
An editorial in Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport exalted Carpi's planning.
"What's missing from Italian football is what Carpi has been able to do," the Gazzetta said. "They've put business men together with managers who know football. You don't go from the amateur ranks to Serie A by chance with more or less the same squad."
Castori's 35-year coaching career epitomizes Carpi's story.
This marks the manager's ninth promotion at every conceivable level, but his first to Serie A.
"I took the longest road possible to arrive in Serie A but I deserve it," Castori said.
It didn't take long after the celebrations for management to confirm that Castori will guide the club in Serie A next season.
It's remarkable to think that Castori was planning on coaching in Ukraine this season until war broke out there. Instead, he signed a one-year deal with Carpi.
Nigerian forward Jerry Mbakogu leads the team's attack with 14 goals in 29 appearances, prompting reported transfer interest from Germany, Russia, and Toronto FC.
Goalkeeper Gabriel Ferreira is on loan from Milan and has conceded just 20 goals in 35 appearances. His leaping save to tip a shot over the bar in the final seconds against Bari ignited the celebrations at the 4,144-seat Sandro Cabassi stadium. Under a driving rainstorm, celebrations continued all night in Carpi's downtown Piazza dei Martiri -- Martyr's Square.
One of the most poignant banners held aloft took aim at Lazio president Claudio Lotito, who said earlier this season that if Carpi made the top division it would "ruin" the league by virtue of smaller TV audiences.
"In your face, Lotito," the banner said.
Last year, Carpi's regional rival Sassuolo was promoted to Serie A for the first time in its 93-year history. Now, Carpi has added another renewal story three years after the region was rocked by an earthquake.
The celebrations in the Piazza dei Martiri took place next to scaffolding covering Carpi's cathedral, which was damaged in the quake and is still being restored.
The only thing Carpi needs to figure out now is where to play next season, with Serie A standards requiring stadiums with at least 20,000 seats. Modena's 21,151-seat Alberto Braglia stadium appears to be the best option -- unless Carpi can add more seats to Cabassi in a hurry.
Andrew Dampf can be followed at www.twitter.com/asdampf