Historical football Florence is played every year in June in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence . Calcio Storico, the game has its origins in etruscan and maybe even earlier versions of ‘playing with a ball like object. Some documents state, that the roman soldiers, who founded ‘Fiorenza‘ in 59 A.D, used a ball made of leather to play what they called ‘Harpastrum‘, that means ‘ strap something from other person with force’. It is certain that by 15th century the ball game was known and spread in the many piazzas of the town, and played by most florentine boys and men. Some stories tell that when the Arno river froze to ice in 1490, there was organised football games on the ice.  During the era of the Medici, the game was brought up as an annual tradition around the carnival celebrations. In 1530, during the ruling of King Carlos the Fifth of Spain,  the game took a more serious turn. The people of Florence, after months of invasion, on the  17th February 1530, united the forces of the town, including the florentine noblemen, to play an almost ‘theatrical football game‘ at the piazza della Santa Croce, to demonstrate to the troops of King Carlos, how little importance their presence had in the towns population and their traditions. Ever since the game became a much celebrated florentine tradition. The games slowly declined in popularity and were interrupted in 178th century, for over 200 years, at least as an organised event, until 1930, when Florence town administration decided to celebrated the liberation from the imperial siege.

The florentine ballgame has founded other ball games, such as the foot ball, soccer and rugby. The game is about getting the ball into a net on the other players side, by feet or hands, or any manner chosen. The game is very physical and looks even a bit violent. The players are dressed in historical trousers, and look theatrical, but the games are, as always, about regional and social identity and the players take their game very seriously.

The tournament is played betweeen the four historical quarters of Florence; the ‘Bianchi’, the white from Santo Spirito district. The ‘Azzurri’ , the blue, from Santa Croce area, ‘Rossi‘ the red from Santa Maria Novella quarter and the ‘Verdi’, the green from San Giovanni district.

There are played 3 games in the month of June, 2 excluding and one final, that is places on the celebration of San Giovanni, 24 th June. Tickets can be bought from the official Box office and  the organisers.

For further info: www.calciostoricofiorentino.it