If you are ever in Italy in June make sure to be in Florence when they play the Calcio Storico in front of Santa Croce. The home I stayed in during my study abroad in Florence was less then a block from Piazza Santa Croce and it was with curiosity that my friends and I watched this stadium go up in the piazza. The Calcio Storico is a combination of soccer and rugby with a bit of wrestling thrown in. This game dates back to the 16th century and is played in the same style of clothing as it was originally. Before the game there is a parade that is its own spectacle and worth watching.
My friends and I went to a semi-final game. There are only three games, two semi-final and a final. The teams are from the four sections of Florence: Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, Santa Maria Novella, and San Giovanni. I’m not a sports lover but this was the most intense hour of my life. There are no time outs and if a player is injured they are taken off the field while playing goes on around them.
I hope that you enjoy this look into an renaissance sport. If you go, be prepared to stand the entire game but it is worth it. If you want to visit more of Italy with me click here. Safe travels.