“Calcio Florentino” may be one of the few sports that we don’t/can’t insure (See why at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW-wxTW7OCI), and we even insure those running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain in honour of Saint Fermin! But luckily it is only played by those who live in the four districts that make up Florence, Italy.
Calcio Florentino or Calcio Storico Florentino (Historic football – “calcio” means “football” in Italian, but not even close to “soccer”) is a mixture of MMA, a bare-knuckle street fight, rugby, and I am not even sure what else. It is played wearing Renaissance period clothing or at least pantaloons in front of 15th century Basilica of Santa Croce every year in It is interesting to watch on YouTube, even if sometimes it seems randomly chaotic, uncoordinated, and flat out boring to watch.
Maybe the lack of communication on a “team” is due to the fact that it is only played one time every year (June 24), Florence’s patron saint’s feast day for St. John the Baptist. Maybe it is because the coaches don’t seem to be doing much?
The official site is found at: http://www.calciostoricofiorentino.it/
And a story about Calcio Storico is at http://www.likeaboss.com/sports/calcio-fiorentino-combines-soccer-rugby-and-bare-knuckle-fighting-into-one-sport-like-a-boss/
Some say the game originated with the Roman empire as a way to keep their soldiers toughened up and indeed it may have started as a revival of the Roman sport of harpastum. t’s hard to believe that in Renaissance times, the sport was reserved for rich aristocrats who played every night between Epiphany and Lent. (According to Wikipedia) Even Popes, such as Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII were known to play the sport in Vatican City. Really? These must have been some pretty tough Popes (unless people were afraid to touch them and have to do penance)!
“Why?” you might ask? It seems many of the current “players” are students of boxing and martial arts and appreciate the ability to test their skills. It may be for honor or boasting over rival sections of town (like gang warfare) or something for the locals to do when the art museums get too crowded during the summers. Or maybe it’s the cow you can win (kind of like a superbowl trophy or world cup, only it’s a cow. A big cow. The Palio).
Rules of calcio florentino
Matches last 50 minutes. You play on a field covered in sand or dirt, twice as long as it is wide.
A white line divides the field into two identical squares.
The opposing team’s goal net runs the width of each end.
Each team has 27 players with no substitutions.
Teams are made up of four Datori indietro (goalkeepers), 3 Datori innanzi (fullbacks), 5 Sconciatori (halfbacks), 15 Innanzi o Corridori (forwards).
The Captain and Standard Bearer’s tent sits near their own goal net. (They do not participate, but can organize their teams and sometimes act as referees, mainly to calm down their players or to stop fights.)
The ball can be touched, kicked, passed, handled in any way.
Opposing team can be tackled or controlled or struck in any way (No head kicks, chokes or sucker punches)
Man-on-man battles only. No ganging up.
No sucker punches are allowed.
No beating on an opponent once he has been taken down/mounted.
Violators of rules are ejected.
Teammates carried off the field cannot re-enter the field of play.
Scoring players can still be attacked after a score.
The Referee and his six linesmen referee the match, in collaboration with the Judge Commissioner, who remains off the field. Above everyone else, is the Master of the Field. He makes sure the games runs smoothly, stepping into the field only to maintain discipline and reestablish order in case of a fight on the field.
The game starts when the Pallaio throws the ball towards the center line, followed by a small cannon firing; the shot announces the beginning of the contest.
From this moment on, the players try by any means necessary to get the ball into the opponents’ goal also called caccia. The teams change sides with every caccia scored. It’s important to shoot with precision, because every time a player misses the opposing team is awarded with half a caccia. The game ends after 50 minutes and the team which scored the most caccie wins.
Find out more or attend event:
If you’d like to attend the event, June 14-15 (seminfinal matches), June 24 (final match) – https://www.fest300.com/festivals/calcio-storico-fiorentino or the “Visit Florence “Tourism site: http://www.visitflorence.com/florence-events/calcio-storico-fiorentino.html
Tickets: Cost of tickets generally goes from 21-52 euro ($23USD-$57USD) from online ticket reseller Boxol.it for the best central seats in tribune A, plus cost of fees on the website. Start looking for tickets online starting at the beginning of May, they aren’t available earlier.