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Most popular sport in Italy: what sport is Italy famous for?

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most popular sports in italy

There are a lot of sports in Italy that are popular. In order to learn more about the Italian way of life, let’s take a look at what their sports fans watch the most and figure out what is the most popular sport in Italy. Let’s take a look at the history of sports in Italy.

The most notable achievement for Italian sports fans comes in football. The national soccer team of Italy won the football World Cup in 1936, 1938, 1982, and 2006. No other team apart from Germany, tied with Italy, and only Brazil (with a record of 5) has won more!

However, there are many other sports that Italians love, which we have listed here for your convenience. But first, let’s take a look at the brief history of sports in Italy.

History of the most popular sports in Italy

Venice Marathon is the oldest international sporting competition. It has been running annually since 1883. This is not a race, but a marathon-distance event that was originally used for the selection of candidates for public office. Tourists from all parts of the globe attend it today.

Italy has several major league sports. The most well-known league is “Serie A” (or “Aura Lila”), which in English means “Lily Shield”.The season begins in late September or early October and ends in mid-May or early June. It is divided into two parts: the regular season 26 games for each team, followed by a series of playoffs to determine who is the champion.” Serie B” is the second major league. It is one of the most historical sports events in Italy.

What is the most popular sport in Italy?

Italy doesn’t have a long history of sports. Italy has only a handful of traditional sports. Here’s the list of the most popular sports in Italy:

  • Football (Soccer)
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Rugby
  • Water Polo

1) Football (Soccer):

It is difficult to imagine another sport as popular as football in Italy (known as Calcio in the country). Some might even suggest that football is more of a religion than a sport in Italy. So it’s up to you to choose what and where to see it, as it’s played almost everywhere and at every level!

The Italian Premier League, called Serie A, has existed for over 80 years. The league has twenty clubs currently. You may already be familiar with world-renowned clubs like Juventus. Milan, and Inter.

The Azzurri, Italy’s national team, are proud of their four World Cup wins. Tied with Germany, only Brazil has won more.

Some of the best football players of all time are Italian. All the football fans around the world know who Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro, Roberto Baggio, and Gianluigi Buffon are. The latter is even considered to be the most popular sports star in Italy.

The passion with which Italians support their teams rivals that of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and the British Isles. Italian football has been so influential that some popular terminology like catenaccio (defense-based football), Calcio totale (total football, a type of pressing), and zona Mista (a type of defensive marking), have entered popular use.

All of these make it clear why is soccer the most popular sport in Italy.

2) Basketball:

Italy has some of Europe’s best basketball teams. The national basketball teams of Italy have also won the EuroLeague many times.

The country also has one of the most respected professional basketball leagues in the world after the NBA, called the Lega Basket Serie A, consisting of 16 teams.

Today’s most prolific Lega winners are Olimpia Milano (28 league wins) and Virtus Bologna (15 league wins). To experience the local Italian game of basketball, you can opt for Serie A2 action. Italy has a lot of basketball to enjoy!

If you decide to visit Italy and get a taste of this amazing atmosphere, then you should do it this year, because Eurobasket and the World Cup Qualifiers are taking place later this year. FYI: Canadians visiting Italy will need an ETIAS visa from 2025. This will be the most important thing to take into consideration before the trip. Other than that, once you get to Italy you are definitely going to enjoy a lot more than just basketball games!

3) Volleyball:

Pallavolo, as Volleyball is known in Italy, is a very popular sport. It might not be the most popular sport in Italy, but the Italian Volleyball League has been regarded as one of the most prestigious leagues and is considered to be one of the most competitive in the world. Many people visit Italy because of their volleyball team. Of course, there are a lot more things to see in Italy besides sports. Everyone knows what the most popular tourist destinations are in Italy. But if it’s not your first time visiting the country, you are probably going to have more time to see other lesser-known sights or watch some volleyball games.

The Italian Volleyball League is well-respected among pro players and is widely considered to be one of the top leagues in the world. Some of the top teams include Virtus Pallavolo Bologna, Trentino Volley, Volley Treviso, Ruini Firenze, and Robur Ravenna. The male and female national teams are also Italian often ranked among the best in the world.

4) Rugby:

Rugby is a very popular game, especially in Northern Italy. It is one of the most popular sports played in Italy. Rugby was introduced to Italy more than 100 years ago by the British Society which arrived in Italy between 1890-1895. Today, the Italian rugby union team is a member of the Six Nations, where they compete against the likes of England, France, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

It has grown in popularity over the past 20 years, thanks to government efforts to promote it.

Companies who wanted to invest in rugby teams and clubs received significant tax breaks.The game saw a lot of sponsorship money and it was able to grow. This was accompanied by an influx of foreign players to the Italian clubs.

Italy beat Scotland in 2007 to win their first-ever away game. They then beat Wales in Rome the next week. This success should help raise rugby’s profile in Italy at a time when many Italians are becoming disillusioned by football.

A majority of large and medium-sized Italian towns have a rugby team. Some people even consider rugby the second most popular sport in Italy. There are around 430 teams participating in the country’s various leagues and knockout competitions, which take place between September to April.

5) Water Polo

The country is home to a large number of water polo players, both amateur and professional. The national team is frequently ranked among the top four in the world. The current Water Polo Champions of Europe are Pro Recco, an Italian team from Liguria who has been dominating the series lately.

This sport also attracts as much attention from the AFL Premiership Betting during big events.

Italians also enjoy Olympic sports such as athletic running, Greco-Roman wrestling, and gold. Extremely popular is also cycling as Italy hosts one of the most prestigious races of the year, the Giro d’Italia (Italian Tour).

FAQs on the most popular sport in Italy

What is the national sport in Italy?

Italy’s national sport is football ( Calcio). It occupies almost half of every issue of La Gazzetta Dello Sport. Italian football fans are the most passionate in Europe. They are only matched by English, Scottish, and Spanish. So it is safe to say that football is the most popular sport in Italy.

A first-class match is a great way to get into the spirit of football ( Partita). Matches can be full of drama, both on the field and off. Despite all the passion and chanting, there’s not as much threat of violence on the field as in other countries.

What are the most common sports in Italy?

As we discussed in this article, football, basketball, volleyball, rugby, and water polo are among the most popular sports in Italy. Obviously, it comes down to the personal preferences between these five, but if the Italian national team is playing in any of these sports, then all the Italian sports fans are going to unite to cheer them.

Less popular sports include swimming, tennis, athletics, fencing, and Formula One.