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Valnerina, praised all over the world as Terra dei Santi (The Land of Saints), it is known also for outdoor adventures and fun. Numerous activities unfold among waterfalls, cliffs and paths through which you can discover the charm of a wild nature that is reflected in the clear water of an indomitable river, the Nera, a name that in its oldest form really means “strong”.


Adrenaline descents between the waves: rafting and hydrospeed

The most famous water sport that allows you to sail the Nera is undoubtedly rafting, a particularly dynamic and adventurous way to travel the river aboard colorful rafts. A sport to be experienced, very successful among the youngest. There are many itineraries to choose: from the more adrenaline – fueled ones that run alongside the water of the Marmore Falls – where the river is more bubbly – to the more peaceful ones suitable also for the little ones, but which nevertheless reserve strong emotions. Particular mention deserves the hydrospeed, a river descent clinging to a sort of life preserver in the points where the water flows faster and the rapids are wilder. A faster and more exciting solution for those who want to be protagonists on the river. An adventure to share with a rather unusual travel companion: the Nera. The force of nature, the spirit of adventure, the adrenaline that rises in a whirlwind of emotions that will make you go home changed by this new experience.

Rock balconies: sport climbing

Rock, water, earth: these are the three elements that merge together in this corner of Umbria, shaping rocks, the landscape and nature that are the protagonists of this land. A mountain with a unique and unrepeatable landscape, which offers views of bright beauty from the Ferentillo cliff. A landscape shaped by man, who has been able to preserve the authentic nature of this place; it offers the better a free climber could wish for. Look at the rising wall, follow its lines, the protrusions and then feel the rock under your hands. Climbing keeps in contact with the mountain, a feat no longer reserved for a few athletes, but something that enjoys increasing popularity, for the desire to challenge one’s strength, to be able to observe the altitudes from a rock balcony that offers a totalizing natural experience.




Discover the old Spoleto-Norcia railway by mountain bike

Valnerina is a land forged by Mother Nature to be discovered by bike. In this corner of Umbria, between the limpid blue of the River Nera and the skyline of medieval villages and towers, a pedestrian and cycle path develops for over 30 km along the old railway that once connected Spoleto to Norcia. A greenway in the wildest heart of Umbria that runs through places where landscape and cultural contrasts keep tradition alive and accompany bikers on an itinerary with a thousand faces. There are many opportunities to experience interesting encounters: it is quite easy, in fact, to see numerous species of diurnal birds of prey that soar in flight from the majestic rocky folds that frame the path. The most common are the kestrel and the buzzard, or even a pair of golden eagles which has its nest in one of the gorges crossed by the old railway. While rafting enthusiasts glide on the water of the Nera, those who go trekking or cycling can also explore an old abandoned road tunnel. Darkness, bats, frozen drafts and sinister squeaks guarantee 5 thrilling minutes.


Old Spoleto-Norcia railway

Old Spoleto-Norcia railway

Walking between heaven and earth: trekking in Valnerina

Valnerina is the ideal setting for those who, with boots on their feet, are looking for a slow experience, in the name of nature and sport. From the Monti Sibillini National Park to the Marmore Falls, each path leads to villages that hold important architectural testimonies or to panoramic points that offer unforgettable views. Trekking in Valnerina means discovering and rediscovering ancient forgotten roads and corners, walking on the border line between heaven and earth, on fox’s or on ancient knights’ traces. Unplug from the everyday life and give yourself a space to live out of time, controlling your steps and feeding yourself with indispensable sensations.



Between reality and spell: hang-gliding and parachuting

The idea of ​​flying, the desire to imitate birds, has always aroused extraordinary sensations in man, from the myth of Icarus and the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, up to Wright brothers’ invention. However, sitting in comfortable reclining armchairs, we certainly do not feel that sensation to hover in the air. Sensations that pleasantly affect paragliding and hang-gliding enthusiasts. A few steps and away … A long breath and the air seems to suddenly have a scent never felt before. Once in the air, the silence is almost surreal. The only noise you hear is the wind between the sail ropes. The senses are colored with emotions never experienced before. Once the powerful emotional charge of the first seconds is exhausted, you become familiar with this new perspective: it’s time to enjoy the view reserved for the birds and to the lucky few who have this passion in their blood. Down below, with the cutting light of a splendid sunset, the green of the woods and the countryside lights up in all its nuances, and the horizon line becomes more pronounced. An experience to live, halfway between reality and enchantment.




«I am from Ponte San Giovanni, born and raised along the Tiber. This river has meant- and still means- a lot for me».

My phone rings.

«Good morning, it’s Serse Cosmi. Can we have our interview right now, as I am busy later?».

«All right, give me five minutes».
I admit that I still had not turned on the computer and I was half sleepy, but I immediately woke up.
Rarely someone called me to anticipate an interview and not to cancel it: not Serse Cormi, he is one’s word! I did not confess it (now he will read it here), but I was at the the Curi stadium when he was coaching Perugia. Chatting with him was fun, there was more than a laugh. Despite having toured Italy to train many teams – from Pontevecchio to the Maremma, from Perugia to Genoa, up to Udinese, Brescia, Livorno, Palermo, to name a few –  he is genuinely from Perugia, as he says, «a perugino from Ponte San Giovanni».


Serse Cosmi

What is your link with Umbria?

The Umbrians are tied in a deep way to their land and their roots: having a profession that makes me trael around Italy, I feel a lot of this link. When you’re out, you appreciate even more where you were born and your home town. For me it is, and remains, a very strong bond.

Do you still consider yourself “the Man of the river”, a man from Ponte San Giovanni?

Absolutely yes. I am from Ponte San Giovanni (n.d.r. suburb of Perugia) and here there is a big difference: when I was a child, there were the inhabitants of the Perugia’s downtown and those of the “bridges”. I claim loudly to be from Ponte San Giovanni and to have being born near the Tiber, a river to which I have been linked since childhood.

What did the Tiber represent for you?

My generation is perhaps the last one who had a bath in the Tiber: I learned to swim in its waters, I played there and of course, I went to dance at the “Lido Tevere”. I spent my childhood near the river, growing up by seeing it flowing, is something that you carry in forever.

Today there is a plenty of coaches who didn’t work their way up the ladder, starting from junior teams as you did: what do you think, is a change of our time or the rush to have someone famous as a coach?

Both of them Who has been a great footballer has already had great privileges in that trade, but I do not consider it right, because if he undertakes another profession – that of coaching – he should before gain a lot of experience so as he did to achieve the highest levels as a player. Let me explain: who has played with Juventus, Inter or Milan has made its own path, starting from the minor series until playing to that high level. The same thing should apply to a coach, considering that it is another job. But if the profession of the coach is considered as an extension of the career of player, then I shut up! Obviously a great player can also become a great coach…

But not even the opposite is not to be taken for granted: a great player will not necessarily become a great coach…

Yes, indeed. I always remember a phrase by Arrigo Sacchi: “It’s not that to be a good jockey you must have been a horse”.

Gaucci, Zamparini, Preziosi… you met some real mastiffs: during these years do you think that the relationship between coaches and presidents has changed?

Times have definitely changed. The presidents are now more than managers, the passionate aspect has diminished – even if their managerial role has always been there. Many roles have changed in football, and that of presidents has also changed: today they are dealing with very different aspects compared to 20-30 years ago. They openly confront the coaches and talk to them about football as if they were doing the same job, but it is not interchangeable. Gaucci, for example, was one of the least intrusive presidents who I worked with. He was more a supporter so as his reactions, but I never had the feeling that he pushed me – even in a veiled way – to make me play one player in place of another. If it happened, it was so good that I never saw it! (Laughs).

Is there a player who you have a special relationship with?

There are many, but I was more tied to those of early career with whom I had shared many human and sporting moments. I think of the guys from Pontevecchio, from Arezzo and those of early years in Perugia. Then I also met other players that I often stay in touch with, but the most direct relationship I have maintained, is with those with whom I started.

Which player would you have wished to train but you never did?

Francesco Totti. He is a player who has always intrigued me.

Are you nostalgic for Perugia? Have you ever thought of coming back to train this team or is it an era that ended by now?

Not nostalgic. We are nostalgic for something that can never be verified again. As long as I do this job there could always be an opportunity to return to the bench of Perugia, the fact is that – during there 30 years as a coach – I have never went back to a society where I have already been.

Maybe for Perugia it would be possible…

Let’s say it’s one of the few teams I would do it for.

Is there an episode of your career which you remember with more affection?

The phone call from Luciano Gaucci in the locker room after our victory at the San Siro’s stadium against Milan: it was before Christmas and before his birthday. That episode will remain indelible for me because I had the perception of how much he cared about the team, the players and how much when he was involved humanely. At that time he was not a president, but a fan who had realized that his team had achieved an exceptional goal: it was the first time in its history that the Perugia team had won at San Siro.


Serse Cosmi dj

If you did not worked as a coach what job would you have done, the DJ?

Actually I’m a DJ who is a coach as a hobby! I am a teacher of physical activity, I had a gym for 10 years so I thought that I would remain in the field of sport. Even though, at the age of 60, I sometimes think about reinventing myself and doing another job. For me, music is a hobby and it remains so, “soccer” started as a hobby, but then it became a job.

Tell us something about you that your fans do not know…

When I won the championship with the Pontevecchio and I obtained the “D series”. My father was a founder of the company and the team had never arrived at playing in that category. I drived all night, thinking about my childhood and many other things. It was the most exciting thing since I have coached.

And a secret not related to the soccer world?

I would like to work at the theater, meet people and discover everything about it. It is a world that has always appealed to me a lot.

Do you do superstitious gestures?

When I was training amateurs I used to change my underwear for every game, I never wore the same. Or after winning a game I always did the same path.

Do you have an anecdote related to Perugia, when you were only a fan?

With the Perugia club of Ponte San Giovanni I went to watch a match in Foggia: halfway we were really in a bad condition, because of beers and various drinks. Fortunately, thanks to the long journey by bus, we recovered and we arrived at the stadium in a dignified way.

How do you consider the Umbrian soccer schools, how should they be strengthened?

When I will stop being a coach, my dream is to create or do something in the soccer field. Surely it will not be called soccer school, but youth sector. In my opinion, one of the worst aspect in this field, is the fact of having matched the word school with the word soccer: the school has a value and it is a place where there are teachers who train the boys, while in the soccer, the real problem are those who teach because they show soccer in a misrepresented way or at least in a different way from my point of view. This is the reason why my dream is to create a youth sector where you do not pay, where talent emerges and where soccer can be a real social value. A place open to everyone, where talent is rewarded, but also where everyone can play.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Tough- about the attitude of people – authentic, distant.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…


«The emotion of winning an Olympics can only be overcome by the motherhood».

Diana Bacosi started winning medals in the skeet (shooting specialty) in 2004 with the first silver at the European Championships and from there she hasn’t stopped. One success after another, up to the gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Diana Bacosi is a woman, a mother and an Olympic champion, who took the shotgun for the very first time when she was 14 years old. «Tokyo 2020 is waiting for me now. After all, this is a sport that does not have age limits».


Diana Bacosi

Diana, what is your link with Umbria?

I was born in Umbria in Città della Pieve and I have always lived in Cetona in Tuscany, on the border between the two regions. It’s 10 years old that i have been living in Rome, but I usually train in Umbria and I often go back to relax.

As yu grown up in the province of Siena, do you feel more Umbrian or Tuscan?

When I am asked this question, I always answer: I fee l Italian.

I read that you picked up the first rifle at 14: what does drive a little girl to this type of sport?

Dad used to go the shooting contests and I follone him to spend time together . The first few times I only sat on one side and I scored the points. One time, my dad told me: “Diana, would you like to  try?” And from that moment on I did not stop shooting. I immediately enjoyed it and it became my passion.

Do you think that you will have Umbrian heir?

There is a boy from Spello, Emanuele Fuso, who is emerging and in the coming months we will see where he will be able to arrive.

Was it more exciting for you: to win your very first competition or the Olympic medal?

Winning an Olympic medal is a unique emotion, also because you get there after a long preparation.

More exciting than becoming a mother?

No, that’s above all and everyone. But gold comes soon after.

How do you prepare to face an Olympics?

It is a journey that lasts over a year. Step by step, race after race you arrive at the Olimpic. There is a physical and mental preparation with breathing exercises, cardiac controls and techniques to take under control the anxiety that may arise during the race. Then there is a schedule of competitions for the entire period that precedes the Olympics: they are only a few, always with the same weapon and the same cartridges.

Try to predict everything, but atmospheric factors are unpredictable. How do you deal with them?

Those can not be predicted, but we try to be prepared, training even in poor conditions and experiencing all the climatic factors. For example, I prefer a storm to the rain. A friend of mine instead loves shooting with rain.

Is there an ideal situation?

Yes, not too much sun, the blue sky and a clean background without mountains  or hills.

A little curiosity: where do you keep the medal?

In a bank safe.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Serenity, beauty and hospitality. Umbrian people have always been so close to me.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The woods and the green.

«The passage of time and not thinking about fatigue was the hardest part, but the warmth of the people and my companions helped me a lot».

Marco Fratini, professional doctor and swimmer of the Amatori Nuoto Perugia, has set a world record for passion: he swam for 24 hours, covering 70 kilometers and 300 meters. Everyone read about this challenge realized at the end of 2018, but few know the background of it and the kind of preparation involved. Marco, 45 years old, from Perugia, exceeded his limits, but he already thinks of another goal to achieve “I will keep you informed!”. We surely wait but, in the meantime, he has told us about the 24 hours spent swimming in the Pellini swimming pool in Perugia.


Marco Fratini

How did you come up with the idea of  this sports record?

There isn’t a specific reason. Last year I participated in traditional competitions both in the swimming pool and in open waters –  such as sea and lake, but I wasn’t keen on the idea of doing it again, so I thought of something different and I started to investigate in order to discover if anyone  has ever swam for 24 hours. I found out that other crazy people had already dared to deal with similar challenges, but there was nothing official: I was the first to involve the judges of the Italian Swimming Federation. Thanks to them and to the president of F.I.N., Mario Provvidenza, we wrote the rules and organized the event. The judges counted the number of pools which I covered, alternating every three hours to ensure the official record.

How did you prepare for facing the challenge?

I started doing long workouts: three hours of swimming interlaced with moments of rest. After several tests we ended up understanding that the optimal trend was about 50 minutes of swimming and 10 minutes of break. Eventually, we increased the hours, from 3 to 6, 8, then a whole night, up to 24 hours. Everything  has been coordinated by the nutritionist, Dr. Aurora Amato, in order to manage better the dosages of food. I must say that there was a perfect feeling among my trainer Stefano Candidoni, the psychologist, Dr. Anna Grazia Frascella and the nutritionist: in this way we have reached the best possible situation.

Many have asked themselves: what was going on in his head while he was swimming?

First I thought about the time it had to pass and how long it took to walk a tank. Then my head thought of many things: the problem, in fact, was to pass the time, because inside the water the time is dilated, but all the people who intervened and my swimming companions have accompanied me from the first until last minute of the race, helping me a lot to get through the hours. From this point of view it was less tiring than I thought. Of course, when the morning at 9 I realized that I still had to swim for nine hours and already I felt tired, it was hard. The psychologist is served right in these moments: I had with her pre-established breaks every 6 hours to recover both the body and the mind.

Would you like to try the same swimming in the sea?

I do not know. It is completely different: sea water helps to float, but it is not easy to have salt water in the mouth for 24 hours, it  is a problem for the salivation. The sea is unpredictable, the waves can influence, the temperature of the water and the climate: there coluld be too many unexpected events.

Are you considering any other sporting record?

Surely I will do something else, I’m thinking about it and I hope to have more time to prepare the new one.

Was it hard not to sleep for 24 hours?

I decided to start the challenge at 6pm so that to face the night right away.  However I did not suffer from the lack of sleep at all. On the other hand, we had to go through the problem of hypothermia using heated stoves and towels: a small crisis during the night occurred  but in the morning everything was solved.

Umbria is certainly not a region that inspires aquatic activities … where does your passion for swimming come from?

Up to 21-22 years I used to train to take part in professional competition, then I stopped, because of my study commitments. Two years ago I decided to restart and at the Pellini swimming pool I met my old friends of the Swimming Amateurs of Perugia who trained for amateur competitions, so I decided to go back to the pool with a lot of enthusiasm. They were the ones who encouraged me to organize this event, they never left me during the 24 hours. They also took care of the people who passed through and asked information about my condition … on the terraces of the Pellini pool there were over 300 people at the end. A really exciting experience!

Ritual question: which is your link with Umbria?

I was born and I have always lived in Umbria. It is my land.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Closed, heart, home.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…


«Insist, persist, reach and conquer»

This is the phrase which represents Fiammetta Rossi most. She is 23 year old, from Foligno and she is studying law at University. Last March, Fiammetta won two golden medals at the University World Cup shooting in Malesya: one in the Women Individual competition, the other in the Team competition. “Insist, persist, reach and conquer is a phrase that my grandfather used to tell me and in which I believe very much, so much so that I tattooed it”.
Fiammetta – which is part of the Golden Flames Sports Group – is carrying on the tradition of family champions in shooting, after grandfather Nando and dad Luciano, starting by chance this discipline: «For nine years I rided, then something changed».


Fiammetta Rossi

What is it like to have two golden medals around your neck?

It is something unique. I trained a lot for this and Iam still working hard to succeed in my career and it is something which I believe in a lot. The beauty of this sport is that you retire late, you can practice even over 50 years, so I still have time.

Your father Luciano is the president of Fitav (Italian Federation of Shooting in Flight): so it was a destiny already written?

Not exactly. For nine years of my life I practiced horseback riding, then one day watching the London Olympic games I noticed a friend of mine who competed in shooting and I decided to try. I started by playing, I liked it and so I continued.  After all, as child, my dream was to be a policewoman on horseback: now I am part of the Golden Flames Sports Group of the State Police.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic games are approaching: do you hope to go?

I would really like. I’m in the team and I want to believe it!  My dream is participating in them: already the mere fact of being there repays the sacrifices you faced to get there. All athletes dream of Olympics games as the they remain and will always be the Olympics. If you win a medal there you enter the legend. I am working every day for this, making sacrifices and training constantly. I still have a lot to do.

Do you have any important appointments in the next months?

Next year I am participating in the University Olympics, so I’ll experience the Olympic context I already know that I will like it a lot.

A Little curiosity: where do you keep the medals?

I keep them at home, I must have them nearby. Every now and then I pick them up, cuddle them I look at them and relive the emotions that I felt at the moment of my victories and I think: «They are mine!»

Let’s talk a little about Umbria: what is your link with this region?

I love it a lot. I love its landscapes, the food and the green that relaxs me. I like everything about it. Travelling is nice, but coming back home is nicer too. I was born in Montefalco and I live in Foligno now, but I lo venature and animals a lot and I love being in touch with them.


You love animals: so, you don’t shoot at them?

I have never practiced hunting, but I respect those who practice it. It is an ancient art and I am not integralist in this regard. Also because, true hunters respect nature very much.

Can the shotgun give other satisfactions to Umbria apart from Diana Bacosi and you? Are there any promising young people?

In Umbria there is a very interesting youth sector and we are doing a great job with them. I am very confident.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Passion, tradition and well-being. Although three words are not enough to describe Umbria.

The first thing that comes to mind thinking of this region…

The house, my roots and love. I am a very traditionalist girl.

«After becoming part of the Albo d’oro of the City of Perugia, I want the grifo symbol of Perugia, to accompany me in my climbing. I want to bring the spirit of Perugia through Italy and beyond».

With these words Luca Panichi, born in Magione 49 years ago, he proudly explains the importance of the recognition received. He is a sportsman, a cyclist, a climber. A person who has never surrendered, not only after the incident in 1994 when he was 25 years old: he was doing what he loved most, the time trial of the International Amateur Tour of Umbria, when a car ran over him. Today with his wheelchair – tailor – made for him – he climbs mountains and he brings around Italy the message that the limits can be overcome. He presides over associations and is the vice president of the Paralympic Committee of Umbria. But above all he managed not to abandon his passion: cycling. Passion that is perceived chatting with him, so much that he asks me: «Do you have a passion for cycling?» I admit that I do not know much about it, but that I prepared to interview him. The first question is almost obvious…


Luca Panichi

How did you think of climbing the mountains with the wheelchair?

Good question! Immediately after the accident I went to a rehabilitation clinic in Germany, where I used to go up to the near village – which was on the hillside of the clinic – pushing the wheelchair with my arms. In this way I realized that I could continue to be a cyclist even if sitting in a wheelchair. When I lived in Florence, I went around the whole city and I went back to Careggi without ever taking a vehicle. The same situation in Perugia: I attended the university and never parked in the reserved places, I used to park the car in via Ruggero D’Andreotto – near the Giò hotel – and I reached the Headquarters of University. I have trained a lot until it  has become a sport for me.

What was your first climb?

In 2009 I climbed the rise of the Blockouse in Abruzzo, arrival of one of the stages in the Giro d’Italia: few meters from the arrival I was intercepted by Cassani and Bulbarelli, who made live the chronicle of the last meters. From this episode, every year, I organize a cycling stage with the arrival to climb. In this way I can continue to live my passion, cycling and bring my message: «Breaking the sense of limit».

Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Zoncolan, Stelvio and Gavia: there is a mountain that you would like to climb, but that you have not climbed yet?

La Marmolada and Passo del Mortirolo, but also the Colle di Portet-d’Aspet, which is a stage of the Tour de France. At that place, Fabio Casartelli died in 1995, just a year after my accident. I am very close to the Casartelli Foundation and every year I participate in the Grand Prix of Capodarco, a community that has helped me in my rehabilitation process, delivering the prize to the most combative athlete of the day.

What is your feeling?

I still feel like a cyclist when I climb up the hills. For me there was not a rift, it is a continuity of my previous sport.

What do you think when you are there and things get hard?

When I train I often say: “But who made me do it!” But then I think of the people who follow me, they are always an incitement. Honestly, for me it would be a sacrifice not to do what I do. It is a true passion!

Next goal?

In August I will take part in the Grand Prix of Capodarco, then in October I will try again the climbing of the Zoncolan, but in different climatic conditions compared to the first time.

Let’s talk about Umbria: what is your link with this region?

I am really in love with this region. Thanks to the bicycle I have known many villages and experienced many landscapes. It is wonderful to know other communities and discover places that you might not never visit. There is a bucolic environment that blends with the story, so as the characters who lived here. I think not only to St. Francis, but also to Fra Giovanni from Pian del Carpine, who was born in Magione just like me, a forerunner in the field of travels and Marco Polo too. Few people know them.

Walking around Perugia or Umbria – for a disabled person – is not like climbing a mountain?

Definitely. The Umbrian villages have their own configuration, but over time, some improvements have been done, in order to make these towns more accessible, such as Perugia itself. However, there is still a lot to do. The disabled people should maketheir own contribution, explaining what  has to be improved.

Why is it so difficult, in your opinion, to make everything accessible?

It is a cultural problem, but I think that a more balanced approach is necessary: the obstacles must be removed but the disabled people should help to improve the situation. The public institutions should be involved too, and, above all, the general attitude should be changed thorough dedicated projects, starting from the world of Education.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Romantic, charming and peaceful.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…


«The purpose of a referee is to be part of the show and not to be remembered».

Fabrizio Saltalippi, 55-year-old from Perugia. He spent 39 years to referee the volleyball matches. He only has three months left until the retirement, but in his palmarès there are 500 matches in Serie A, 180 international matches, three European Championships and two World Championships. An authentic Umbrian excellence of this sport.


Fabrizio Saltalippi

What is your link with Umbria?

It is a very strong bond. I was born and raised in Perugia, and I still live there. Although I have been working out of my region for twenty years, both in Italy and abroad, I have never thought about leaving this city. I would not move from Perugia for any reason.

Last August, you were nominated to referee the inaugural match of the European Volleyball Championship in Poland: how do you face – psychologically and physically – such an event?

This match was important for two reasons: the first because it was the inaugural match of an European Championship, so it had a high-level media impact; the secondo ne, was the fact that Poland had the “brilliant” idea of ​​playing it – to beat the attendance record – in the Warsaw football stadium, in front of an audience of 65 thousand spectators. Such an environment, of course, puts pressure, so our training is very important and helps to maintain concentration and manage anxiety. During the game you feel responsible for what happens and hope that everything goes in the best way. On that occasion everything went smoothly, even though Poland lost 3-0 against Serbia. I remember that the first minutes were a bit ‘difficult, then began the routine and the game has turned into a normal routine match.

You are a veteran of these events, during three European Championships and two World Cup Championships you represented Italy: what do you think when you enter the field during these events?

I have never felt the stress and the tension before a match, but only the desire to take the field and the pleasure of having fun and entertaining. The task of the referee is to be part of the show, to give the opportunity to the public to enjoy a good game, all without being noticed. If a referee, at the end of the match, is not remembered, it means he that did a great job.

When you take off your uniform you take a break or you usually think about some eventual mistake or decisions taken during a match?

As soon as YOU take off your uniform there is a drop in tension and you get rid of adrenalina, but you do not stop thinking about the match. I usually have a critical revision of it. Regarding the fact of watching the video of the match, I focus mainly on situations challenged in the field because, if I made a mistake I need to realize it a sit helps to grow and to avoid repeating them, while, if my decision was correct, it is a personal gratification, and it helps a lot too.

The volleyball in Umbria, especially in Perugia, is getting good results, and it has many supporters, can we consider it an excellence of the territory?

Volleyball is definitely an excellence, just think of everything that Sirio Perugia has won in the past or what Sir Safety Umbria Volley is now doing. However, it is necessary to strengthen the minor series, starting from the foundations.

Such as the youth sectors?

Exactly This is essential. Young people are attracted, unfortunately distracted by football. Once a boy who was over one metre and eighty centimetres tall played volleyball, but now he can also play football. This sport is affected.

A suggestion to a young man who would like to start a referee career…

Loving this sport, almost more than a player, beyond the goals that can be achieved. Having passion, enthusiasm and the desire to become part of the game itself. The referee is not a detached entity, is part of the game and the show in all respects.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Green, unique, splendid.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The architectural beauties. When I am abroad and people ask me where I live, I realize that few people know Umbria, so I explain that it is the land of the Etruscans, a civilization more ancient than the Roman one, I hope to intrigue them…

 «The game that satisfied me the most? The one in favor of the people of Norcia hit by the earthquake».

More than two hundred matches in A Series, international referee since 2007 – 2017 was his last season because he reached age limits – seventeen years of activity with the debut in the top flight in 2003 and Élite Uefa referee since 2012. These are the numbers of Paolo Tagliavento, the most representative whistle in Umbria and beyond. During the game, he is strict, in order to guide the twenty-two players; on the contrary, with us he is easy-going and kind. He is an Umbrian proud of his land.


Paolo Tagliavento

What is your bond with Umbria and with Terni?
It is a very strong bond, because I was born in Terni, I grown up there and I still live there. I love my region and I am very fond of the people I have lived with and who have been part of my childhood.

Do you think that Umbria is a region that is “out of the game”, cut off from other realities?
For the position it has, it’s a bit cut off because of its infrastructures. For example, I often use the car for my travels. Fiumicino is not far, so I also take the plane when I leave far away, while the train is not really comfortable. In some ways, being a little out of nowhere can be an advantage, because you can experience peace and tranquility.

If Umbria was a football rule, what would it be?
The edge. Which is a special rule: when you apply it makes the game more bearable. The edge of Umbria is in its landscapes, food and life.

Is there a game that you always wanted to referee but you has not done yet?
I could say the final of the World Cup, because it is the dream of any referee and few people get there. Instead, I will tell you the game that satisfied me the most: a charity game after the earthquake of 2016, which was held in Norcia between actors and civil protection personnel. It was something concrete for Umbria and it made me very proud.

The Umbrians are accused of being narrow-minded, do you recognize yourself in this stereotype?
No, it never happened to me. Perhaps in the northern part of Umbria they are more narrow minded than Terni, which is influenced by the Roman way of living.

Are there in Umbria young referees who could reach your level?
There is an excellent school of arbitration assistants, who have reached good levels. As for the referees in the Lega Pro and Series D there is someone for it could make their way.

What would you recommend?
I would advise him to give its best, always. To have passion and to make sacrifices, because only in this way we can reach these levels. Passion is the driving force, but it is not enough. It also takes commitment and hunger to reach the goal. This profession should be put a little in front of everything. The funnel is very tight and few come in the A series. But I would also recommend to have fun and enjoy.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?
Beautiful, unique, open-minded.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…