Italy and the U.S. have many differences when it comes to sports

Finding a sport that you like in different countries can be really difficult


Angel Villalobos

Soccer is often underappreciated in America but much loved in Italy.

I am from Italy, and one place I have noticed plenty of differences between the United States and my home country is sports.

The differences that you can find when you travel around the world are endless. You see them everywhere: in the people, culture, places, and, yes, sports. But there are some things that are more different than others.

There is a big difference in how Italians view sports and the importance of them when compared to the U.S.

We can see this difference in school’s physical education. In Italy, we have only two hours of physical education per week, where we play some basketball, volleyball, and sometimes soccer; however, none of it impacts your academics. While in the U.S. you can find so many teams of different sports (like football, softball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, wrestling, dance, and cheerleading) in schools. Here, the hours of practice and games can be during the school day or after it.

I think that having many different sports is more healthy for teenagers because if someone doesn’t like one of the sports offered, schools in the U.S. have many other choices, and all students can have fun while doing physical activities.

If you ask someone in the U.S. which sport is the most famous or popular, they will probably answer something like football, baseball, or basketball; if you ask the same question in Italy, they will most likely answer soccer.

The most popular sport in Italy is soccer (though there are others who enjoy volleyball or basketball). There is so much hype that is behind this sport in Italy — I think it’s almost at the same level of the hype that is present in American football, especially if it’s at a competitive level. There are many soccer teams, almost two in every region of Italy.

While soccer and football are different, basketball is also popular in Italy, just like in America. Volleyball is sometimes famous or not so popular depending on if the national team wins something. For example, during the 2022 Men’s Volleyball World Championship on Sept. 11, 2022, Italy beat Poland. And almost a month later on Oct. 4, 2022, the women’s Italian team would compete against the Brazilian team for the quarter-finals; a lot of hype lead up to it.

With that in mind, there are a lot more sports that are famous in Italy despite not being known in the U.S. Sports like Formula 1 (the highest class of international racing for single-seater formula racing cars) or Motogp (international motorbike racing), are really popular in Italy, while here in America, even though some people know what these sports are, they are not as common. Not everyone follows what happens in their competitions and races.