When you’re in a new country and are trying to start a conversation with locals I personally find that the easiest way to do it is talking about sports, cause everyone knows a little bit about them. In Italy, you could imagine that the easiest conversation started is soccer, but really every sport gets people a bit excited. So, how can you communicate your love of sports if you don’t have any Italian words to talk about Italian sports.

There is a thousand famous Italian sports person and that is a pretty easy way to talk about them, just look at the great soccer players of the past like Pirlo, or Totti. Again, you understand that the most popular sport in Italy would be soccer. But, there are a lot of different sports that are pretty big here, just think about the fame that Italian sports cars have or the amazing Italian sport bikes that people want so bad. So when you’re asking yourself, or someone, what sports are popular in Italy the main answers are going to be soccer, F1, and the MotoGP.

But let’s not forget about basketball, volleyball, and tennis. These too are popular sports played in Italy, as I was saying Italy sports go hand in hand.

Let’s move on from this intro, and let’s look at some of the sports in Italian so you’ll be able to strike up conversations with all of the new friends you’ll make during your time in Italy.

Cycling – Ciclismo

Didn’t mention it in the intro, but Cycling is widely popular in the country, just think about all the amazing hills and mountains that are in Italy, and even just taking into account the fact that one of the most important bike races is the Giro d’Italia. A good little phrase to ask an Italian bike enthusiast would be “Che tipo di ciclismo preferisci? Mountain bike, Ciclismo su pista o il Ciclismo su strada?” That way you can find out what is their favourite cycling activity.

Soccer – Calcio

The national sport of Italy Calcio is a religion here, you can’t go anywhere without meeting at least one mad soccer fan here. Don’t be fooled even some of the people you already know in Italy are crazy about their team, they might not show it but once you touch the topic you’re not getting out of it. “Che squadra tifi?” To find out what team they love, and than the last conversation on soccer you’ll ever have will take place. No doubt soccer is Italy favourite sport.

Swimming – Nuoto 

Swimming is a pretty well followed sport in Italy with a star like Federica Pellegrini, making Italian swimming something really big on the international scale, but something that Italians are really into is water polo called “Pallanuoto” with the Italian team being one of the best in the world the “Settebello” (in case you don’t know what a Settebello is I’ll write a post on Italian card games), cause the team is made up of 7 players.

Skiing – Sci

Skiing isn’t as followed as it used to be but it’s still one of the sports and activities in Italy that are most pursued by Italians during the winter. Great skiers like Alberto Tomba are names that are considered like gods here. You can’t think about the late 80s in Italy without Alberto Tomba.

So, those are pretty much the most popular sports in Italy. Now when you ask yourself what sports do they play in Italy you know what they are and. How to communicate them. But if you wanted some Italian sports car brands you know them already, don’t make believe you don’t (btw there are two main ones Ferrari and Lamborghini, but if you want to be fancy Bugatti, if you’re looking history Alfa Romeo)