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What’s the best way to cheer up on this dreary Thursday? By checking out the hot Italian swimteam in their underwear. Molto Bene!

The World Swimming Championships are taking place in Rome beginning on July 17th and to celebrate, fashion house Dolce & Gabbana are launching an underwear advertising campaign for Summer 2009 featuring five almost naked swimmers from the Italian National team. (So this is why we watch the swimming! And here I thought it was because of all the world records and gold medals).

The five male models, sorry, I meant swimmers, are Emiliano Brembilla, Paolo Bossini, Alessandro Terrin, Mirko Di Tora and Nicola Cassio. The campaign was shot in Rome at the historical Circolo Aniene di Roma by Mariano Vivanco. Which one is your fave?

This is not the first time the designer giant has used male sports stars to market their brand. In 2006 D&G used Italian rugby players as models which sent gay blogging sites into overdrive. Memo to whoever is head of marketing at Dolce: you deserve a pay rise!

Not only do we get to see these fine sporting specimens in their undies but Armani is outfitting the home team as well which means we may get to see them in suits too! I know, I know, it’s a lot to digest, so let’s take a collective moment to re-group.

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Okay if you think you can handle some more excitement then check out this behind the scenes footage of the guys as they groom themselves (and each other!) in preparation for the shoot. Let me just warn you that this leaves nothing to the imagination. Michael Phelps who?