The University of Rome “Foro Italico” is a vocational university, the only Italian state university dedicated to sports and exercise sciences. It was created in 1998 as Istituto Universitario di Scienze Motorie IUSM when it replaced Rome’s Istituto Superiore di Educazione Fisica (ISEF), whose activity had been focused on higher education for Ph.E. teachers. IUSM, now “Foro Italico University” extended the ISEF’s scope, to cover all the fields of interest related to human physical activity: scientific research, coaching for recreational sports and for high-level competitive sports, teaching, fitness, re-education and rehabilitation, organization of sports events, management of sports facilities, etc.
The University is situated in the northern district of Rome; the area, known as Foro Italico, was built in 1932 when a number of impressive buildings and facilities were conceived as Rome’s sports center. The area represents a typical example of Fascist architecture, characterized by wide use of white marble and triumphal statues and obelisks. The Olympic Stadium, at the back of the Institute, was built on the occasion of the Rome Olympic Games (1960) and has since been the venue of the World Championships in Athletics (1987) and of the World Soccer Championships (1990). Foro Italico University facilities include modern education structures (11 lecture halls, a computer center, a language center, a specialized library), up-to-date sports facilities (10 fully equipped gyms, 2 swimming pools, a rowing center on the River Tevere) research centers (more than 20 laboratories). The University also has its own audiovisual center for the production of educational and non-professional materials and conference halls for national and international congresses.