Top 5 Most Popular Sports in Italy Till Now

FIFA world cup champions
The home of the former FIFA world cup champions (4 time world champions), Italy is known for its love for football.

Italy has a relatively short sporting tradition but as with most European countries, they love football.

When it comes to the question of which sports are the most popular ones in Italy, there can be no arguments about soccer being anything except number one. And this is for a good reason: the national soccer team of Italy has managed to win the World Cup in 1934, 1938, 1982, and 2006. It is the second-most successful team I the history of national soccer, but there are other sports that Italians are drawn to as well, which are outlined here for your browsing convenience.

The Growth of a Game is proud to present the first-ever comprehensive list of Top 5 Most Popular Sports in Italy till now.

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1) Football:

It would be difficult to imagine any other sport being as popular in Italy as football is. There are even those who might suggest football in Italy is more religion than a sport; that is for you to decide when you visit! Serie A is the premier league, which has been operating for more than 80 years. Twenty clubs compete within the league currently, with famous names like Juventus and Milan ones you likely already know.

FIFA Women's World Cup 2019.
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.

Italy’s national squad, known as the Azzurri for their blue shirts, has won four World Cups, second only to Brazil. Italian football is a passionate, vibrant sport, so to prepare yourself for a day on the Italian terraces, here is a little vocabulary.

2) Basketball: 

Italy boasts having one of the best basketball teams outside of the U.S. overall and is also one of the most consistent winners of the EuroLeague. The Lega Basket Series A is the professional league of basketball in Italy, consisting of 16 competing teams. Both Marco Belinelli of the Golden State Warriors and Danilo Gallinari of the New York Knicks started their careers in Lega before joining the NBA.

FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World
FIBA Italy – FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2019-20.

Today, the most prolific winners of Lega are Olimpia Milano and Virtus Bologna, with 28 and 15 league wins respectively. If you would prefer some lower league action to learn what a more local Italian basketball game feels like, then head to a game in the Serie A2 instead. There is lots of basketball for you to watch in Italy!

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3) Volleyball:

Volleyball, or Pallavolo as it is known in Italy, is a hugely popular game, and the last on our popular Italian sports list. The Italian Volleyball League is one of the most respected leagues, considered one of the most difficult and competitive in the world.

FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy
Overview – Italy – FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Italy

The Italian Volleyball League is a respected one amongst pro players, and widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Both the male and female national teams frequently rank among the top teams in the world.

4)  Rugby:

Image result for Rugby italy sports
Rugby World Cup – Italy team Squad.

The game is rugby is quite a popular one, especially in the Northern parts of Italy. The introduction of rugby into Italy dates to more than a century ago when it was brought in by the British society settling visiting the country between 1890 and 1895.

5) Water Polo

There is a significant amount of both pro and amateur players for water polo in Italy, and the national team is often ranked in the top four worldwide.

Image result for Water Polo italy sports
Italy, Serbia Through to European Water Polo Quarterfinals in 2019.

Sports betting for this sport is also popular, often garnering as much attention as AFL Premiership betting when big events are being held.

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Here are some more sports that Italians are drawn to as well, which are outlined here for your browsing convenience that was in the discussion:

  •  Golf
  • Athletics
  • Wrestling
  • Cycling
  •  Wrestling


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