This article was originally inspired by the research questions which were addressed at the conference on ‘Popular sport/the popularity of sport’, organised by the University of Florence in November 2019. The article aims to lay the foundations needed to tackle, from an historical perspective, a phenomenon which over the last few decades has been defined as ‘popular sport’. In order to achieve these aims the article at first concentrates on the historiography, analysing the various studies on sport. It then moves on to a reconstruction of this phenomenon which, albeit recent, is at the same time profoundly influenced by the past.
Keywords: Popular sport, The historiography of sport, Italy