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Beach Volleyball on the Riviera celebrates its 25th anniversary

It was 25 years ago, this year, that – according to Claudio Fantini – volleyball came out of the indoor sports centres and onto the beach in Italy, via the glamorous beaches of California.

Fantini, in fact, is the man who claims to have introduced beach volleyball to Italy – and there are few that would argue with him, given that Fantini’s beach establishment in Cervia was packed each weekend with tourists watching exhibition matches between the stars of indoor volleyball – like Angelo Squelo – and the romagnolo beach stars like Piero Molducci.

Volleyball is hugely popular in Italy, and virtually every beach front in Rimini and along the riviera has a volleyball court. Stroll along the lungomare in Rimini and you can see amateur matches played with all the passion of an olympic qualifier – friendships have been known to dissolve into air thanks to a missed point.

If you want to see a higher level though, head to cervia and Fantini’s beach club for their special Grand Gala to celebrate 25 years of Beach Volleyball. Teams of 2 will compete there on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week for the Sportur cup, following Olympic rules – it promises to be a treat for beach and sports enthusiasts.

Alternatively, head down to your own beach in Rimini and see if you can join in a game!

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