Sports coverage was front-page coverage in Italy's newspapers this summer.

Gladly with a large photo and a bold headline.

And the sports parts overflowed.

Not only because of the extremely detailed news, analyzes and reports on the competitions.

The “human touch stories” about the winners also needed space.

And there were many winners.

Almost all winners.

It began with the triumph of the Squadra Azzurra at the European Football Championship. The final victory of Wembley over the actually favored Englishmen, especially in their cathedral of football, was already the highest of all highlights in July. Italy is known to have two religions, Christianity and Calcio. The Italians cannot take away the Pope as the permanent world champion of Catholicism. Even if he, which has been happening more often recently, is a foreigner. But the Vatican stays in Rome, that's that. But the miter in Calcio, as the Italians call football, has to be fought for over and over again. Missing the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia was tantamount to excommunication from the world church of football. With the victory of London, Italy returned to the Sanctum Sanctorum of the game. And how:with the most beautiful football under the most beautiful national coach.

Then came the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. There, Marcell Jacobs, succeeding the legendary Usain Bolt, became the "fastest man in the world". Jacobs not only won the 100-meter sprint, he also led the 100-meter relay to gold. And the Italians won more medals than ever at the Olympics. The same success story at the Paralympics. The record number of medals was crowned by the famous triple victory of the Italians in the 100-meter run. A political career is already being suggested to the President of the National Olympic Committee.

On the past weekends, first the women and then the men won the EM title in volleyball, while Filippo Ganna defended his title in the individual time trial at the Road World Championships in Bruges. The daily newspaper La Repubblica aptly stated on Monday: The “bella estate azzurra”, that summer glowing in the beautiful azure blue of the Italian national jersey, is never ending. Luckily. And asked how a country that had been trapped in a state of economic and social crisis for almost two decades could be able to achieve such top performances.

The paper brings the current state of mind in Italy to the point. The sport exemplifies the longing and the will of the whole nation for a liberation strike. This nation, according to the self-image of the Italians, is always capable of the greatest after it has been through the worst. A year and a half ago, the Italians, imprisoned in the lockdown of the pandemic that hit Italy so early and so severely as no other country in Europe, sang their hymn of the "Fratelli d'Italia" from the balconies. To give each other courage in the moment of deepest need.

Now they are singing their hymn of the brave “Brothers of Italy” again: on the grass, in the halls, in the stadiums. "L'Italia s'è desta" is the second verse of the hymn: "Italy has risen". First in sport, that is the narrative in the “beautiful blue summer” 2021. And then as a nation.