Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - Italian beach volleyball stars Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini took time out of their busy schedule to visit the FIVB Volleyball House on Monday.
The pair, who played in two Continental age-group championships, winning silver at the 2010 U23 edition, are playing at their first Olympics as a pair, although Menegatti partnered Greta Cicolari at London 2012 where she finished fifth.
Both were impressed with the setup, and equally staggered by the beach volleyball venue just a few hundred metres up the road, which is quickly becoming the place to be in Rio.
“It is a lovely place to come," Menegatti said. "It's very close to our venue and so is somewhere where all the athletes can come and relax. It is very welcoming, we like it.
“I have been here many times and I love playing in Brazil because they are crazy about beach volleyball. There’s a magic here, a different type of feeling to the place compared to other locations. Coming here is a lot warmer welcome than in other venues.”
The duo were just two of dozens of distinguished guests to have visited the House since it opened its doors on Friday.
However, despite the smiles at the Volleyball House, the duo were likely to have been disappointed later in the day, losing to Canada's Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas in their opening Pool D match.
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