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SPORT@EXPO2015: starry night in Piazza Santa Croce, 3-0 for female Italvolley against Azerbaijan

santa CroceHistory, culture and sport. Three aspects of Italian excellence to export to world. As timeless postcards, with eternal charm and a tradition that has become an example for others.  An exceptional theatre, Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, the starry sky of a late summer night, shining over the most evocative scene: "we play under the stars", says the motto of the event, with the sky as the roof of a special and unique frame.


Indeed, during this evening in Florence, female volleyball wrote a beautiful page of sport for the second of the three events organised by CONI and the Prime Minister's Office, in the context of initiatives to support Expo 2015, through a project named "SPORT @ EXPO2015 - Nutrition and sport: teamwork!". The friendly match between Italy and Azerbaijan, dominated by the Italian national team, with an assertive 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-17), was not only a test in preparation for the European Championships (from 26 September in the Netherlands and Belgium) but an iconic event that needs to further publicised, to spread the most beautiful sport image, the winning smash on an exceptional backdrop: the Gothic Basilica, built between the XIII and XIV centuries and considered a real pantheon of Italian artists, amongst which feature Michelangelo and Galileo.  The cradle of Florentine Calcio Storico (historic football) transformed for a timeless day in a spectacular arena.


The team lead by Bonitta, cheered by a packed venue, full of people and passion, won the first set with ease (25-15), without ever giving the impression of being threatened by the opponent's attack. The beginning of the second set was apparently balanced, before the decisive change in gears that resulted in the Italian victory, by a considerable stretch (25-18). The third set reflects the course of the match: it closes with 25-17 in the embrace of Piazza Santa Croce. These are the members of the national team who were the protagonists of the evening: Raphaela Folie (Liu Jo Modena); Indre Sorokaite (Nordmeccanica Piacenza); Ofelia Malinov (Club Italia); Carolina Costagrande (Impel Wroclaw - Pol); Valentina Tirozzi (Pomì Casalmaggiore); Caterina Bosetti, Cristina Chirichella, Martina Guiggi, Stefania Sansonna and Noemi Signorile (Igor Novara); Monica De Gennaro (Imoco Conegliano); Lucia Bosetti (Fenerbahce Istanbul) and Nadia Centoni (Galatasaray Istanbul).


This is the list of the 12 players of the Azerbaijan team: Jeyran Aliyeva, Ayshan Abdulazimova, Polina Rahimova, Oksana Kiselyova, Aynur Karimova, Odina Bayramova, Katerina Zhidkova, Kseniya Poznyak, Oksana Kurt, Valeriya Mammadova, Krystsina Yagubova, Marharyta Azizova. Coach Faig Garayev. The project, called "SPORT @ EXPO2015 - Nutrition and sport: teamwork!" saw its first event last Thursday in Capri with the friendly male water polo match of Italy against Spain, facing the cliffs (Faraglioni), and will end in Taormina, in the historical Ancient Greek Theatre: Italy will face the Rest of the World in a fencing competition, a unique challenge in a setting reminiscent of distant times. The initiative's aim is to conceive and develop, exactly during the Expo period, an integrated project, educational in nature, to raise awareness and promote the theme of "sport and nutrition", connecting the value of physical activity and sport practice with some of the main themes of Expo 2015. In particular, this will be beneficial in advance of the next Olympic Games, which will take place in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

To make all this happen, high profile sporting events were conceived in some of the most beautiful places of the peninsula, with the participation of athletes of world calibre, who will draw the attention of the general public on the featured project and themes.

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