If you have walked past Santa Croce recently, you may have noticed that there has been a bleacher takeover of the Piazza. Florence’s annual Calcio Storico (dating all the way back to the Renaissance) is happening this weekend! Here is all you need to know in preparation for the weekend madness.
The Calcio Storico Fiorentino is a combination of soccer, rugby and wrestling. There are four teams that compete against each other from the historical areas of Florence. The teams are: Santa Croce (represented by the color blue), Santo Spirito (represented by the color white), Santa Maria Novella (represented by the color red) and San Giovanni (represented by the color green). In the past, there have been various famous players that participated in Calcio Storico such as members of the Medici family and three popes.
Wondering about the rules of the game so you can follow along? Luckily there are very few rules (which means it can be intensely brutal). The two opposing teams battle for a total of 50 minutes to see which team can score the most points. Points are gained by getting a ball into the opposite team’s net. I don’t know about you, but I love attending sporting events where the rules are minimal and the intensity is at a maximum
And for the ladies… Not only do you get to witness big, strong men tackle each other in the dirt but they will be doing so in historical costumes. Talk about the medieval dual of your dreams!
The final match between the two winning teams will take place on June 24 at about 5pm. If you are not able to attend the match itself, luckily, there are other events you should be sure to take part of. There will be a parade led from Piazza Santa Maria Novella to Piazza Santa Croce at about 4pm, you can see the players make their way to the final match. Right after the match be sure NOT to to miss the magical fireworks going off from Piazzale Michelangolo. The best spot for the fireworks show is right along the Arno River with a gelato in hand (or a bottle of wine… I recommend the latter but hey, whatever floats your boat).
If you are looking for a rush of adrenaline and another way to connect to the history of Florence, then Calcio Storico is the event of the summer that you need to be at!
Photo credit: https://www.everfest.com/e/calcio-storico-fiorentino-firenze-tos