Did you know that famous sports such as Soccer, Rugby or American football are governed by rules whose origins date back to the 15th century? It was during that period that Florentine began to play Soccer (il calcio) then named historical (storico) in the major squares. It was in 1530 when an important match had been played. Florentine decided to play in Piazza S. Croce while they were being surrounded by the imperial troops.
A big challenge. Still today during St. John the Baptist celebrations, this tradition is still alive and strong. The major quarters of the city are represented by their players (calcianti). Santa Maria Novella quarter , the “Reds” ( ”Rossi”), San Giovanni , the “Greens”( “Verdi”), Santa Croce, the “Azures”(gli “Azzurri”), Santo Spirito, the “Whites (“Bianchi”). Each team has 27 players. Three matches are played. The prize: a chianina cow. Even if it looks quite violent, it is a very fascinating game, a mix among rugby, Greco- Roman wrestling and Soccer. An exciting atmosphere in the whole city – not just in the Santa Croce square where the three matches are held – where there’s the opportunity to follow a marvelous parade. You can be amazed by the sound of trumpets, drums and fanfare , while admiring the colorful Renaissance costumes, dressed by over 500 dignitaries walking the streets of Florence.
Do not forget the spectacular fireworks displayed to celebrate Saint John the Baptist Feast.