Italians in general are absolutely sport mad, provided it is soccer, skiing, Ferrari racing cars, or cycling. However, they play a wide range of sports despite the winter climate and do reasonably well in most sports. They are certainly patriotic and this verges on fanatism with soccer - a very emotional experience.

"Calcio" is an integral part of the males (and a large percentage of women) life. It certainly has a far greater following that the Roman Catholic church and generate a huge range of emotions a few times a week. Despite the recent scandals in italian soccer, they are still doing well. However, this is one league where they should start a awarding "soccer oscrs" - it is no longer only soccer skills that win games. I was in Australia when they won the last soccer world cup, but by all accounts it was a huge experience for a foreigner.



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