Italy is considered one of the countries which above all others has written the history of the Olympics. Moreover, the summer Games of Rome ’60 are still remembered today worldwide as the first to be broadcast around the globe and also, the first to be accompanied by an edition of the Paralympics Games.
Alongside these records, the 1960 Olympics brought numerous innovations to the Italian capital, also regarding facilities and infrastructure, which are still an asset for the city.
And it is by starting from these notions that the idea arose of a shared candidacy across three of the most beautiful, most popular, and most famous cities in Italy, for both their history and their culture: Rome, with its ancient charm, Florence, with its beauty, and Venice, with its magic.
Rome needs no introduction; it is the capital of Italy, rich in history, and full of enticing views secrets which attract millions of tourists from all around the world every year. For a potential Olympics, the capital is also in an ideal position, in the center of Italy and, taking a broader perspective, in the center of the Mediterranean.
For these reasons, the students from Temple University who developed the idea of a shared candidacy between Rome, Florence, and Venice, imagined entrusting Rome with the organization of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2032 Olympics.
The Foro Italico, the Stadio Olimpico, the Stadio del Nuoto, the Stadio Pietrangelo, and the Stadio Centrale del Tennis, are just some of the sports structures that already exist in Rome which could host some of the sports for the 2032 Games, from football to water polo, from swimming to diving, and athletics to rugby.
Rome could also host the equestrian sports in the Pratoni del Vivaro, and at Piazza di Siena, while the Fiera di Roma could host boxing and the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club – which will host the 2020 Ryder Cup which could be an excellent solution for golf.
Also, Rome could be home to the triathlon and pentathlon, around the Laghetto dell’EUR, and at the Stadio Flaminio, which finally has the opportunity to be restored.
Florence is considered the cradle of the Renaissance, the city which represents par excellence of Italian language and culture. Florence is known worldwide for its beauty; it is not only important tourism and cultural attraction but also a city of sport.
Despite being much smaller than Rome, Florence has a great variety of space available and sports facilities, without overlooking the fact that it is just one hour by train from Rome.
Florence could host combat sports such as judo, wrestling, and taekwondo, but also weightlifting and artistic and rhythmic gymnastics at the Nelson Mandela Forum.
But the Tuscan city could also host football land rugby at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, the fifth biggest in Italy regarding capacity, which for the occasion could be restructured, and finally be given a roof.
Venice is another city which needs no introduction. It is recognized as the most romantic city in the world, with its canals and unique views. It is no coincidence that it is the third most visited city in Italy, after Rome and Milan, and for this reason, it is considered one of the leading centers for tourism in Italy.
Its position on the Adriatic is strategic for a shared Olympics: water sports such as sailing and rowing could be offered a magnificent venue in the Venetian city, in the lagoon.
It would be interesting to organize the marathon along the famous route of the Venice marathon.
Others could then support the three main candidate cities near them. So, we could have Milan hosting cycling, badminton, and basketball; in Naples beach volleyball and volleyball; in Verona, there could be handball, hockey, archery, and table-tennis.
As for the opening and closing ceremonies, following the indications provided for Rome’s candidacy for 2024, and we could imagine a parade starting at the Coliseum and ending at the Foro Italico, passing through the Roman Forum.
In the same way, in the other cities, small ceremonies and parties could be organized promoting the spirit of the Games for visitors, and citizens from other areas of Italy.
As for the question of the three Olympic Villages which must accommodate the athletes, it was thought that Rome, as the city hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, could be home to a large Olympic Village for all the participating athletes. Following the same model proposed in the candidacy for Rome 2024, it could be possible to use the area of Tor Vergata, near the university campus.
As for Venice and Florence, here too the Olympic villages which will undoubtedly be smaller than that in Rome may be built near universities to guarantee greater involvement by young people in the event.
These Olympic Villages could then give rise to real university centers linked to culture and intercultural exchange between Italy, and the rest of the world.
As for the technological factor, the idea is to fit special video cameras on each athlete using, for example, special contact lenses. It could be possible for every fan to watch the competition directly through the eyes of their favorite athlete.
THE OLYMPICS AND THE FUTURE OF ITALY
How can the preparations for the Olympics bring positive effects for all of Italy?
The first benefits that the Games would bring the country are without any doubt regarding infrastructure are an increase in road and motorway connections and a restructuring of existing connections. Thanks to the collaboration of some municipalities which would bring major improvements to the life of citizens with a reduction in traffic on the road.
In this regard, consideration could be given to restructuring roads using recycled plastic, seeking in this way to solve two serious Italian problems which have to do with the poorly maintained roads (a severe problem above all in Rome) and waste.
As for trains, which would be given absolute priority in the project regarding transport. It would be possible to use the existing railway line which joins the three main cities. And considering that, on average, there are 24 trains from Rome to Venice (passing through Florence), and it would be sufficient to increase the number of high-speed trains so that the distances between these three tourism centers are halved, and create specific services for athletes, and those working at the Games.
3. Clean energy
Absolute priority in this project should be given to the use of clean energy.
In Italy, 40% of the energy used comes from renewables (the figure for 2014), of which 8% is solar energy (the highest percentage in the world).
It was, therefore, imagined that to boost the development and use of renewable energy, it would be possible to make the three cities in the project centers for three types of energy:
- Venice: hydroelectric
- Florence: wind
- Rome: solar
Four main objectives:
- Reduce the costs of energy for consumers to be in line with European costs.
- Match, and try to exceed the targets of the EU Climate Change Energy Package set for 2020.
- Encourage the use of Italian energy (particularly gas) and reduce dependence on foreign suppliers.
- Promote sustainable economic growth through the development of the energy sector.
4. Cleaning up the cities
As for cleaning up the cities, the Olympics could be an opportunity to promote sustainability and recycle waste, to increase services for street-cleaning and raise awareness initiatives which provide helps during the Olympics, and future of tourism.
5. Promoting Italian workers
Greater emphasis can be placed on the importance of taking on Italian labor to boost the country’s economy and so, reduce unemployment, which according to figures from December 2017 stood at 10.8%.
Use of Italian labor could without doubt also produce a positive feeling towards the Olympics, and their organization, contributing to the creation of a climate of support, and national pride in citizens.
6. Urban transport
The project for the 2032 Olympics aims to provide all those taking part in the event with a fast, safe, and reliable transport to minimize the impact of transport on the cities and create an inheritance for more sustainable transport.
For this reason, it will be necessary to provide more efficient means of transport, enhance their capacity, improve the systems for coordinating, organizing, and controlling public transport, and highlight the importance of promoting the use of sustainable transport during the Olympic Games.
7. Support for the Games
The Olympics bring a lot of benefits to the host cities: regarding the economy, reputation, and politics. All the cities would like to experience it. Therefore, it would be an excellent opportunity if all of Italy were to host it.
Also, the Games in Italy have the support of the population. In 2016, a survey indicated that 75% of Italians want the Olympics.
Every year, millions of tourists visit Italy. For example, Rome itself receives around 40 million tourists each year, while Florence and Venice reach 9 and 5 million respectively.
This is why the main Italian cities are already equipped to welcome the thousands of tourists who an event such as the Olympics can attract. This could, in any case, be an opportunity to renew tourism facilities.
In conclusion, these Olympics could be the opportunity for Italy to relaunch itself in terms of both sport and the economy, laying the foundations for growth in the tourism sector and positive and targeted investments for infrastructure, technology, and transport.