Virtus was founded in 1879 as a gymnastics club, and fielded its first professional basketball teams in the 1920s. The club has won 15 national league titles in Italy's top division and 8 Italian Cups. It has also been a frequent participant in the Euroleague, the basketball equivalent to football's Champions League. Virtus' best season, as measured by trophies won, was 2000-01, when it won the Italian league, Italian Cup, and Euroleague titles. It also won the Euroleague in 1998.
However, several key members of Virtus' treble-winners left immediately after that accomplishment. After the 2001-02 season, Manu Ginobili, the Euroleague Final Four MVP in 2001, left for the NBA. At the end of the 2002-03 season, Virtus suffered relegation from Italy's top flight as a result of financial problems.
Virtus' home stadium is Palasport Piazza Azzarita .