When it comes to polo…all roads lead to Rome!
“Italians and their passion for a sport they love is a lethal combination nearly always resulting in success!”“Rome Polo Club in Italy” (Sarah L. Parker)
History of Polo in Italy
Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world that attracts millions of visitors annually. However, many of these travelers fail to look beyond the cathedrals and Colosseum to notice the popularity of polo spreading across the picturesque country.
Fifteen years after polo first reached Italy in 1915, the Rome Polo Club in Parioli was founded. The green oasis nestled away from the bustling city is the oldest and largest club in Italy. Following the opening of the club, polo’s popularity continued to grow into the late 80’s spanning from Parioli to Tuscany, while boasting pros like Pasquini and Guglielmi. Today, the Rome Polo Club is one of about fifteen clubs under the jurisdiction of the Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri (FISE), which is the sole representative for equestrian sports in Italy responsible for the rules and regulations of competitive tournaments that bring Italy’s players to the international stage.
Despite Italy’s later introduction to the polo world, the country quickly developed iconic tournaments like the Italian Championship, Costa Smeralda Gold Cup, the Coppa Duca d’Aosta tournament, and the Audi Gold Cup. Sponsored by prestigious brands like The Westin Excelsior and Jaeger-LeCoultre, Italy jumped into the world of polo in style. But they didn’t stop there! In 2005, Italy took first place in its first European championship, third place in the 2011 FIP World Polo Championship, and second place in the Zone C qualifiers of the 2022 FIP World Polo Championship. Italy has found great success in the world of polo, and they are not likely to stop soon. By using their new platform, Italy is raising awareness to important issues and enacting global change.
Italy Polo Today
Pitti Immagine Uomo is a world renowned fashion show held at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. Highlighting innovative designs and new trends in men’s fashion, the event provides an opportunity for new and established brands to display their latest collections. At the Pitti Uomo 2023, U.S. Polo Assn., the official brand of the U.S. Polo Association, not only unveiled custom outfits for the new season, but also held a VIP party to celebrate the brand’s message: “Live Authentically”. By working with impressive brands and their impactful messages, Italy is doing its part to create positive change in the world that goes beyond fashion.
Since the early 2000s, the Komen Foundation has been developing educational programs, assistance, and resources for breast cancer survivors and their families in Italy. Historically, the foundation has relied on fundraising through a traditional 5k race, but this year, Marco Elser suggested the Race for the Cure become Polo for the Cure.
Polo for the Cure utilizes polo to bring global awareness to breast cancer and to champion female athletes and entrepreneurs. This unprecedented combination of activism and charity is the perfect platform to both highlight female athletes and the importance of bringing an end to the insidious disease of breast cancer, while reaching a broad and captive audience. This four day, first ever, all-female polo tournament at the Romano Polo Club of Monte Compatri in Rome, is the embodiment of the power of polo and a testament to what Italy wants to bring to the polo world.