The Venice mayor immediately put his city’s name forward while Rome officials are also interested in a bid.
A Madrid victory, following on from London 2012, would have meant two European Summer Games in succession and hugely reduced the chances of a third straight Olympics coming to the continent.
But the announcement of a first South American Games in 2016 has prompted Italy to explore options for 2020.
“The time is right for an Italian bid for the 2020 Olympic Games,” Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Petrucci said in a statement.
“Rio de Janeiro’s victory definitely gives Italy the chance to carefully consider the idea of nominating a city.”
The Italian city of Turin held a largely successful Winter Olympics in 2006.
Venice mayor Massimo Cacciari said the city of canals and the surrounding area would be the perfect venue for the 2020 Games, coming 60 years after Rome hosted the Summer Olympics.
“Venice is an iconic city, unique in the world, which enjoys universal recognition,” he told Reuters.
“The Olympics is the biggest international event and to promote and organise the 2020 Games would allow the city and the whole metropolitan area to accelerate numerous regeneration projects.”
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