Italy will be competing in their 19th FIVB World Grand Prix this year. They won silver medals in 2004 and 2005, plus bronze in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010, but have not been on the podium since. Last time they made the Final Six was in 2015, when they ranked 5th. Last year Italy completed the Intercontinental Round on a 4-5 record for a 7th-place finish.
Italy were crowned world champions in 2002 and missed out twice on bronze medals, losing the third-place playoffs to Serbia & Montenegro 3-0 in 2006 in Osaka and to Brazil 3-2 in 2014 at home in Milan. They have also won the FIVB World Cup twice, in 2007 and 2011, plus the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in-between in 2009. Italy have been consistent participants in the Olympic Games since Sydney 2000 and three times made the quarterfinals in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Last year at Rio 2016 they were eliminated after pool play for 9th place overall. Italy have also won a host of medals at the European Championships, including gold in 2007 and 2009.