Rome, a city of sport


When visitors think of Rome, most think of the ancient sites like the Colosseum, the Pantheon or the Roman Forum. Some think of the great restaurants, while others think of the fabulous fashions. But Rome is also a great place to head for to enjoy top quality sports.

Italy may not have any major sports to call its own, unlike the Australians (who have Aussie rules football to wager on) or the Americans (who have the NFL and Major League Baseball), but the city is never short of world-class sport. From football to rugby and basketball to golf, you can find some superb sporting action in Rome, with a range of major tournaments coming to the city in the next couple of years. Let’s take a look at some of the sporting treats to come.

The Stadio Olimpico

The main focus for sport in the city is Rome’s magnificent Stadio Olimpico, which is a sight to behold and worthy of the very best teams. Refurbished for the 2009 Champions League Final, it holds 72,698 fans and has been home to both AS Roma and SS Lazio in Italy’s Serie A since the 1950s; it is also the venue for the Coppa Italia final each year. More top-class football will arrive at the stadium next year when Rome hosts one of the quarterfinals of Euro 2020.

The Stadio Olimpico is also home to the Italy rugby team. They host two or three of their five Six Nations games every year, often including a romantic Valentine’s weekend fixture. Next year, Italy will host Scotland in round three of the Six Nations on 22 Feb 2020, with Italy hoping to emulate their home victories of 2008 and 2010. They also host England on the final weekend of the tournament on 14th March.

Other sports in Rome

Italy may be best known for its football, but there are many other sports to be found in the city, too. Italy is one of the leading countries in Europe for basketball, with Rome’s PalaLottomatica stadium seating over 11,000 basketball fans for Virtus Roma home games. Rome will even be breaking new ground in 2022 by hosting the prestigious Ryder Cup golf tournament, as it will be the first venue in Italy and only the third course outside of Great Britain and Ireland to do so. The 44th Ryder Cup competition between the US and Europe will take place in September 2022 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, which is located in Guidonia Montecelio just to the northeast of the city.

Rome’s Stadio Olimpico is the modern equivalent of the Colosseum - image by DoubleJack92, CC BY-SA 4.0