The Games took place from 13 to 25 June with the opening ceremony being held at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, in the presence of approximately 30,000 spectators. The central theme of the show was the “Voyage of Ulysses”. As was the case four years earlier in Languedoc-Roussillon, the organisation, although mainly located in Bari, made great use of facilities in the Apulia region. Twenty-one nations came to Italy which hosted this competition for the second time, thirty-four years the after the Naples edition. Approximately 2,956 athletes, including 790 women, competed in the 27 sports of the programme. Once again Italy won the team ranking and together with France they won almost 47% of the medals. Lebanon, Libya and Monaco returned home without any medals to show. Italy was particularly proud of their victory in the football tournament, featuring stars like Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti in their ranks. France won two titles with two champions who would later become Ministers of Sports, namely the swimmer Roxana Maracineanu, winner of the 100m backstroke, and also the judoka David Douillet, winner of the +95kg class.