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28 June 2019 | in Summer Universiade

Napoli now open: the most unique Universiade Athletes' Village arrives from sea

Sport, food and relaxation abounds on board the Costa Victoria and MSC Lirica cruise ships turned Universiade Athletes' Village

NAPOLI – The slogan of the 30th Summer Universiade is #ToBeUnique and nothing about Napoli 2019 lives up to this moniker as the Athletes’ Village set aboard two luxury cruise ships at Stazione Maritima, a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace with the illustrious Mount Vesuvius lurking in the background across the Gulf of Napoli.


Officials and dignitaries from FISU, CUSI (Italian Student Sports Association), the Region of Campania and the City of Napoli were on site Friday afternoon for the official opening of the unique village, one of three athletes’ villages, which will be used during the event’s anniversary edition.

FISU President Oleg Matytsin addresses the crowd during the ceremonial opening of the 30th Summer Universiade Athletes' Village. The heart of the athlete residences is abroad two luxury cruise ships docked in the downtown Napoli port.

“The 30th Summer Universiade will be unique for many reasons, one of them, of course, being this athletes’ village,” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin. “Never in FISU history have we had the opportunity to accommodate participants on luxury cruise ships, right in the centre of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.”


“Today, I had the chance to take part in a tour of both ships. What a fantastic place! I have no doubt our athletes will be very excited. For example, I already spotted countless locations for fancy Instagram photos and videos. I was so impressed, now I’m considering asking the mayor of the village to let me stay a day or two on one of the ships,” Matytsin added.

FISU President Oleg Matytsin (second from right) and CUSI President Lorenzo Lentini (far left) helped cut the ribbon to christen the two cruise ships as the most innovative and interesting Universiade athletes' village to date

CUSI President Lorenzo Lentini was equally impressed with the setting.


“I hope the student-athletes who live on these ships for the next two weeks will truly enjoy this unique occasion. For us, this ribbon-cutting ceremony is very satisfying, and also full of emotion, because it’s part of all the hard work that has been done in just over two years to make Napoli 2019 a reality.”

The Summer Universiade 2019 mascot Partenope makes a live appearance during the cultural performance preceeding the athletes' village opening celebration

For the cruise line companies, they are absolutely behind this innovative concept for providing accomodation during high-demand events.


“For Costa Cruises it is a great honour to be part of the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade,” says Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises. “As an Italian company, we are very happy to contribute to this wonderful event, which is not only a great sporting occasion, but also a fabulous opportunity to promote Naples and the whole of Italy to the world. On the Costa Victoria, we'll offer athletes the best of Italian hospitality, which has distinguished Costa for over 70 years.”

Two-time Olympic champion Manuela di Centa offered words of hope and encouragement to the athletes competing in Italy over the coming days

The flags of Italy and FISU were officially raised during the colourful ceremony, which was bookended by spectacular cultural, athletic-themed performances.


In total, 2,114 delegates from 71 countries will stay on board the MSC Lirica during the Universiade, while 1,888 participants from 38 nations will call the Costa Victoria home. Both ships are part of Italian-based Costa Cruises.


The 30th Summer Universiade officially gets under way on July 3rd with the opening ceremony and run until July 14th.

It's official! Athletes hopped aborad the Costa Victoria cruise liner for the first time this Friday. The ship will play a central hosting role for the delegations through to mid-July.

By Michel Belanger, FISU event reporter


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