The Italian national water polo team represents Italy in men's international water polo competitions and is controlled by Federnuoto (the Italian Aquatics Federation). The national men's team has the nickname of "Settebello".
The Italian men's water polo team has won 6 Olympic medals, 5 World Championships, 5 World Cup, 10 European Championships medals, and one World League medal, making them one of the most successful men's water polo teams in the world. They have won a combined six championships in those four competitions, with the World League being the only competition which Italy has yet to win.
Water Polo became popular in Italy soon after 1899, when an exhibition match was played at the Bath of Diana in Milan, with the match being described in the press as: "like football but more tiring and difficult, requiring energy and strength beyond the ordinary".
Although a domestic league was soon established, the Italian national water polo team did not first compete at the Olympic Games until the 1920 Olympics, in Antwerp, Belgium, where they were forced to forfeit their first round match, before losing 5–1 to Greece and being eliminated.
The national team first fulfilled their potential at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England, when they went undefeated for the whole tournament to claim their first gold medal in the discipline.
The Italian team reclaimed the title of Olympic champions in front of a home crowd at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy. Italy won their third Olympic title at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, beating the hosts and tournament favourites Spain 9–8 after extra time in a thrilling final. Only Hungary (9), and Great Britain (4) have more Olympic titles.
The Italian national side have also won three World Championships, in 1978, 1994 and 2011,and the World Cup once in 1993. Italy also claimed their first European Championship in 1995.