Dozens different national teams arrived in Rome today for the upcoming World Swimming Championships. Street posters and large billboards throughout the airport and city greeted the world's best aquatic athletes to the Eternal City.
One billboard often seen showed Italian open water swimming star Valerio Cleri.
Valerio was the 2008 FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit champion.
But the Italians also had a great way to combine their ancient history with contemporary swimming - see street poster on left.
With the expected weather to be sunny and warm throughout the 5K, 10K and 25K championships, the competition should be hot.
Before young Australian open water swimming star Danielle DeFrancesco departed from Brisbane with her teammates this morning, she echoed the sentiments of many other athletes who will be experiencing their first major international championship, "It's my first world championships and I just want to enjoy the experience. I have no big plans, I just need to swim a good time."
For fans of pool swimming, water polo, diving, synchronized swimming and open water swimming, Rome will be providing a good time over the next 3 weeks. We will be twittering live from Rome and Ostia Beach where the open water events will be held (http://twitter.com/swimopenwater).