Amid all the incredibly unique things Florence has produced and offered over the centuries, Florentine historic soccer, more commonly known as “calcio storico” has surely surpassed most of them, for being a century-spanning tradition which encompasses boxing, football, rugby and soccer at the same time.
Founded in the 1500, this sport is a major attraction today and it kept perfectly preserved its unconventional and complex set of rules and ceremonies, proving to be a sport competition belonging to a league on its own.
How it works?
The match is being played by two teams using the Harpastum, a ball filled with air and leather, originally used by Romans. The team setting more goals is the one which wins, avoiding, obviously, all the set of penalties that represent the very peculiar element of this game.
Originally, the league started on January and 4 teams will battle each other through matches lasting 50 minutes each, played into a football pitch with a set of nets on both side of the field: each goal is known as “caccia”; the match starts once the columbines, a very tiny kind of cannon, are firing.
The unique feature is surely represented by the physical contact and proper fighting which can take place amid the players, 27 in totals, with very limitation on the damage and fierce they can cause each other.
Besides the referee and the linesman, there is a singular figure: the field master. This role implies a sort of complete control, power and supervision of each player and any decision endorsed by him is unquestionable.
But florentine soccer is also an astonishing exhibition of stamina and masculinity with each player being capable of muscular resistance and endurance. Players can attack each other, obstruct, punch and hold the opponent’s body in a quest to stop their action and avoid a goal being scored!
In spite of its evocative spirit, this sport is remarkably exclusive, accessible only to man and completely secluded to the mass: from its foundation till today. People can join any team strictly upon invitation from other members, given they have all the physical requirements to do so.
When and Where?
Nowadays, the calcio fiorentino league takes place on the 24th of June and rigorously at Santa Croce square – where it has been played for the last five centuries.
It usually spans over 5 matches and it is possible to take part to them by booking tickets or via TV streaming.
If you are a football or fighting lover, don’t miss out on this incredible celebration of heritage and history: the power, the splendor and charm of this tradition will make you look at contemporary football under a newly true light.
Book your tickets or let us know and we’ll take care of your stay in Florence!