4 Most Popular Sports in Italy – or Football Only?

For outsiders looking in, Italy is a country that obviously has a big love for football. The country is not alone in that considering the global popularity of that sport. However, are there other sports enjoyed by Italians?

In this article, we clear up the topic of what sports are the most popular in the culture-filled country of Italy.

1. Football

When you think of sports in Italy, you probably think of football (il calcio). It’s the country’s most popular sport and has a rich history. The national team is among the most successful despite performing quite badly in recent years. At the club level too, the Italian league is considered one of the top 3 or 4 in the world.

2. Tennis

Tennis is a sport in which two or more players use rackets to hit a ball across a net. The player who hits the ball first scores a point.

Tennis is a popular spectator sport in Italy with passionate fans often packing into stadiums to watch the action. It is also a thriving industry with numerous companies manufacturing and selling tennis equipment and apparel.

3. Badminton

Badminton is a fast-paced sport where players use racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. It’s governed internationally by the Badminton World Federation. It originated around 2000 years ago as a game called Battledore in Europe & Asia. It was later adapted to become competitive and became known as badminton.

4. Golf

To the untrained eye, Italy may seem to be a country without much golfing pedigree, yet that is far from the truth. The country boasts some of Europe’s finest courses and when combined with incredible landscapes and world-renowned wine regions, it is hard to ignore the potential for a golf holiday in Italy.

The number of Italian golfers is relatively low compared to other mature golf nations, which means that the industry must do something extra to encourage new players.

5. Cycling

A bike ride is a good way to relieve stress, as it releases endorphins that help you feel better and lower your blood pressure. It is also a good way to meet new people, as cycling is a social sport. It has always been among Italy’s most popular sports to watch and take part in.

6. Rugby

Rugby is a sport that you would assume is popular in Italy. For one, it is popular in many countries across Europe, and secondly, it is the type of physical sport that you imagine rugged Italians would love to play. Well, the sport has indeed been popular in the country since the early 1900s. Italy has not had much success but is considered a decent team at the international level.

7. Motorcycle Racing

Italy has a strong tradition of motorbike racing, with some of the world’s most famous riders being Italian. These include Max Biaggi and Loris Capirossi. Its motorbike Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious in the world and takes place at the Mugello Circuit, near Florence. It’s also the track where Valentino Rossi achieved worldwide fame.


As you can see, there are plenty of sports alongside football that Italians love to watch. Rugby and Motorcycle racing, in particular, attract plenty of spectators. Of course, everyone is different but the above are classed among the most popular sports in the country. The great thing is, you can watch many of these via DAZN Italia all estero.