|Volleyball is the most-practised women’s sport in Italy and FIPAV (the Italian Volleyball Federation) has more than 100,000 registered athletes.
In the late 1980s, Italy’s national women’s team gained a position in the volleyball elite.
Their best performances at international level were the third place at the 1989 European Championships which took place in Germany and the fifth place at the 1998 World Championships which took place in Japan. The blue girls were also ranked in 4th position in the 1991 and 1993 editions of the European Championships. Other important achievements were the victories at the Mediterranean Games and University Games in 1991 and 1997.
In 1995 the national youth team won the European Championships and reached the third position at the World Championships; in 1996 the Junior Italian team conquered the continental title for the first time.
Italy also took part in the 1994 FIVB Grand Prix, reaching a respectable 8th position, in its 1997 edition 5th place, in its 1998 edition 5th place, in its 1999 edition 4th place and in its 2003 edition 5th place. In 1999 the Italian team also reached 5th place in the World Cup.
In 2000 the "Azzurre" qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time, winning the Tokyo Tournament after a 2nd place in the Bremen Tournament. In the Olympic Games the team finished 9th.
In 2001 Italy won its first continental final and took the silver medal at the European Championships in Varna, Bulgaria
In 2002 the Italian Team took second place in Montreux and the World Champions Title in Germany.
2004 started with the qualification for the Olympic Games and was followed with victory at the Montreux Volley Masters, second place in the Grand Prix and 5th place in the Olympic Games.
In 2005 the team took the silver medal in the Grand Prix and the silver medal in the European Championship.
Marco Bonitta was born in Ravenna on 5th September 1963. He is married with two children.
Club technical curriculum: in the season 1996/97, he led the Big Power Ravenna to promotion into the A1 division; in 1997/98 with Foppapedretti Bergamo he won the Italian National Championship, the Italian Super Cup and the Italian National Cup. In 1998/99 still with the club of Bergamo, he re-signed as Italian Champion, won the Champions Cup and the Italian Super Cup; in the following year, still as head coach of Foppapedretti Bergamo, he again won the Champions Cup and the Italian Super Cup. Finally, in the last Championship he came back to Ravenna and led the club Mirabilandia through an amazing qualification in the Italian play-off.
He has been the head coach since the spring of 2001 (beginning in Ferrara on 31st May during the friendly match Italy vs Bulgaria 3 – 0). Together with the women’s teams, he won the gold medal in the Mediterranean Games in Tunis in September 2001 and the silver medal in the European Championship in Varna – Bulgaria. In 2002, after the 2nd place in the classic Montreux Tournament, he led Italy to the historical win in the World Championship achieved with the final match against United States in Berlin on 15th September 2002: a date that no Italian Volleyball fan will ever forget.
In 2004 he helped the team qualify for the Olympic Games in Athens in which Italy ranked 5th. In the same season he led the women’s team to their 1st success in the traditional Montreux Volley Masters and to the 2nd place in the FIVB World Grand Prix.
In 2005 he achieved a long series of excellent results: silver medal in European Championship; silver medal in the FIVB World Grand Prix, 2nd place in the Trophy of Valle D’Aosta in Courmayeur and 3rd place in the Montreux Volley Masters.
GRAND PRIX 2006 TARGETS
We will play with the best team, and we will use it as an important competitive check in view of the World Championship in November. Finals will be played in Reggio Calabria, at home; we’d like to make an impression, as we did both in 2004 and in 2005.