Year after year, the Italian Open – also known by its sponsored name Internazionali BNL d’Italia – has become an unmissable appointment for tennis enthusiasts. Since 2011, the tournament is held in the Eternal City in May and combines an ATP World Masters 1000 competition for men and a WTA Premier 5 competition for women. Together with the French Open – also known as Roland Garros – and the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Italian Open constitute the world’s most important triptych that takes place on the same surface: clay courts.
It all began in 1930 at Tennis Club Milano where a tournament was played until 1934, when Mussolini moved the event to the capital, there he ordered the construction of the Foro Italico sports complex. But it was Carlo Della Vida in 1950 to enhance the Italian Open bringing together some of the best players in the history of this sport.
Today, Rafael Nadal holds the undefeated record of seven victories on the Foro Italiaco’s clay. While for women, the Italian Gabriela Sabatini has collected four titles there, as many as Serena Williams, winner of twenty-three Grand Slam titles.
The Italian Open, however is a lot more than just tennis; it is a 360 degree event where fashion, wine, and sports go hand in hand in the special areas dedicated to the most diverse activities. Sport is the protagonist of the Fun Areas – spaces that feature a tennis court and a speed simulator where children can play tennis and meet their favourite champions. Between matches the public can visit the “shopping village” – with more than 100 stands -, and the two Food Areas. Luxury and relaxation are instead the key words of the FIT Lounge, a meeting point for managers and guests of the Federation. Finally, with the introduction of the Ballroom (a club in the shape of a tennis ball), the party continues in the evenings with top musical performances.