The Calcio Storico Fiorentino in Florence: everything you need to know

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The Calcio Storico Fiorentino in Florence: a game, a sport, a battle

The Calcio Storico Fiorentino (historic football) is one of the most important traditions of Florence. The game is also known with the name of Calcio in Costume (football in costume) because the players wear traditional costumes.

Historic football has many elements of contemporary team sports such as football, Rugby and American Football; during the matches, we can assist many often to real fights between the player: it’s a mix of Boxe, Martial Arts and Greco-Roman wrestling. At the end of every game there are some injuried players.

The tournament is composed by three games, two semifinals and the final. The four participating team represent the four quarters of the city centre. The prizes for the winners are a symbolic Chianina cow, a palio (an embroidered tapestry) and most of all, the glory.

Before every single match you can assist to the Corteo Storico della Repubblica Fiorentina (Historical parade of the Republic of Florence). It’s a historical military parade born to commemorate the heroic resistance of the city during the siege by the emperor Charles V in the 1529-1530. Every character present in the procession is reproduced accurately. After the corteo, there is the show of the Bandierai degli Uffizi (a flag bearer team). Two very interesting shows.

Where is the Calcio Storico Fiorentino played?

The Calcio Storico Fiorentino has a very exclusive location, in fact every games are played in Piazza Santa Croce. During the days before the tournament, the field and the stands are built in the middle of the square.

When is the Calcio Storico Fiorentino played?

Every year, the draw for the semi-finals is done in the morning of Easter. The final match is the only one that has always the same day. The date is the 24 of june, the feast of Saint John patron of Florence. The semi-finals must be played at least a week before the final match. In the 2017 the first semi-final will be played the 10 of june and the second one the day after.

The Calcio Storico Fiorentino in the past and today

The origins of Historical Football are very far in the history. To find them, we have to go back to Classical Greece and to the ancient Rome. During the middle age, football was played in the roads and in the squares of Florence. The most famous match was played the 17 of february 1530. During the siege of Charles V, the florentines decided to play a game in Piazza Santa Croce to make fun of him.

The tradition of Calcio Storico was reborn in 1930; since that year the four town quarters compete in a tournament consisting of two semi-finals and one final.

Calcio Storico Fiorentino in Florence the Rossi versus the Azzurri
The Rossi and the Azzurri (Photo by Lorenzo Noccioli / CC BY)

The rules of the Calcio Storico Fiorentino

The aim of the game is to score more points (called “cacce“) than the opposing team. The goals are placed along the shorter sides of the pitch. The players can use every part of their body in the game.
If the attacker shoots over the goal bar, the opposite team gain an half point (“mezza-caccia”). If the goalkeeper deflect the ball over the cross bar, the attackers gain the half point.

A match consists of one period of 50 minutes with no pauses. In case of draw, the game continue till someone make a point or a half point. It’s like the golden goal.

Each team consists of twenty seven players, called “calcianti“. Usually there are 3 goalkeepers (“datori indietro“), 4 defenders (“datori innanzi“), 5 midfielders (“sconciatori“) and 15 attackers (“corridori” or “innanzi“). There are no substitutions and many often the teams end up with fewer players due to injuries and expulsions.

The quarters, the colors of Calcio Storico Fiorentino

The four districts are mainly identified dl their colors: the blues (“Azzurri“) of Santa Croce, the whites (“Bianchi“) of Santo Spirito, the reds (“Rossi“) of Santa Maria Novella and the greens (“Verdi“) of San Giovanni.

This year the semi-finals are: Verdi vs Rossi (15th of june) and Azzurri vs Bianchi (16th of june). Both games will be played at 5pm.

How to participate to the Calcio Storico Fiorentino

Tickets will be sold by Box Office starting from the 11th of june.
These are the prices:
Central south stand (tribuna d’onore centrale) 80 euros
Lateral south stand (tribuna d’onore laterale) 60 euros
North stand (tribuna al sole) 40 euros
East and West stand (curve popolari) 29 euros

For more information we suggest to have look to the official site (only italian)

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