Milan - Italian rugby federation (FIR) bosses have officially confirmed their interest in hosting the 2023 World Cup.
FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi made the announcement on Thursday having been given the full backing of Italian Olympic Committe (CONI) chiefs.
"In accordance with the rules concerning candidates and having been given the full backing of CONI we would like to formally announce to World Rugby our intention to bid to host the 2023 World Cup," said Gavazzi.
Candidates for what would be the 10th edition of the competition have until May 2015 to formalise their intention to bid. The hosts will be officially announced in May 2017.
In June, Italy will host the under-20 world championships for the second time after the 2011 edition, and Gavazzi feels those experiences, along with an overall growing Italian passion for the game, will lend weight to Italy's bid.
"The growth of rugby in Italy in recent years, our experience of hosting Six Nations games as well as the November Tests -- and the experiences of hosting the under-20 world championships in 2011 and next June -- are fundamental to our bid," he added.
"I am confident that today Italy has everything required to be able to organise an unforgettable Rugby World Cup. In the coming two years we will be doing everything in our power to help make this dream come true."
This year's World Cup, which will feature 20 teams spread over four groups, will be held across 11 cities in England, including Cardiff, from September 18 to October 31.