Italy’s Marta Menegatti in action at Foro Italico during the 2019 World Tour Finals

Italy’s Marta Menegatti in action

Rome is the first city in the history of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships to host a second edition of the elite competition. After welcoming the world’s best pairs back in 2011, the Italian capital is set to do it again when the 2022 World Championships take place from June 10 through 19 at Foro Italico.

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Interestingly, the 2022 trophies will be issued on the exact same date, June 19, that the 2011 medal matches were played 11 years ago. And one of the winners at that tournament, Brazil’s Alison Cerutti, who was a 2011 world champion alongside Emanuel Rego, will be back for more in 2022, this time with Gustavo Carvalhaes (Guto) as a partner.

There are a few other players in both genders, who participated in the Rome 2011 event and will return to the Eternal City for Rome 2022. They include Italy’s Daniele Lupo, Marta Menegatti, Paolo Nicolai and Viktoria Orsi Toth, Brazil’s Bruno Schmidt, Carol Solberg, Taiana Lima and Talita Antunes, Germany’s Julia Sude and Latvia’s Janis Smedins. Spanish veterans Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, however, are the only team to compete this year in the same composition as they did 11 years ago. Back then they finished fifth.

“Foro Italico is an iconic place for Italian sports and it’s really great that beach volleyball will once again be played there. I can’t wait to feel the emotion on the court,” said Paolo Nicolai, who won the Jurmala Elite16 gold alongside Samuele Cottafava last Sunday. “For me, it is really a privilege to have a second opportunity to play the World Champs at home. The Italian teams in the main draw at Rome 2011 were there just to participate and do their best, but things have changed. Right now we have a lot of teams who can compete with the best. We are ready to play our best beach volleyball and we’ll see… Everything can happen.”

In addition to the 2011 World Championships, Rome has hosted a number of other high-level FIVB tournaments. Foro Italico welcomed the world’s elite for the first time back in 2009 for a men-only Open event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. As of the following year, the event was upgraded to a double-gender Grand Slam tournament. It was held in that format in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Then, in 2019, the World Tour Finals were held in Rome. Some of the medallists, including Brazilian women Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda), Ana Patricia Ramos and Rebecca Silva, and Germany’s Clemens Wickler and Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, on the men’s side, will hope to make the podium at the Rome 2022 World Champs again.

It is not only beach volleyball that Foro Italico has hosted in the past. The iconic venue in the Italian capital also provided the battleground for matches during the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World League and the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship. Foro Italico, situated on the western banks of the Tiber River, was also the main site of the Rome 1960 Olympic Games.

Historically, Italy has hosted a numerous world-level beach volleyball tournaments at various venues, most recently last October’s 2021 World Tour Finals in Cagliari and last month’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event in Cervia.

While Rome is the first city to host the World Championships twice since their launch back in 1997, Italy will be the third country to welcome two of the 13 editions, after Austria (Klagenfurt 2001 and Vienna 2017) and Germany (Berlin 2005 and Hamburg 2019) did so earlier.

Starting on Friday, 48 men’s and 48 women’s pairs, with all five continental confederations represented, will play a total of 216 matches over 10 competition days at Rome 2022 on the way to determining the new world champions.