Celebrate the Florentine historical event “Calcio Storico Fiorentino” as it returns to Florence this June – June 10, 11, and 24 in Santa Croce
The famous calcio storico fiorentino (Florentine historic football), is returning properly to the city once more. Here is all you need to know about this historical appointment.
The calcio storico fiorentino has very ancient roots and dates back to the creation of football in Europe around the 15th century. This Florentine sport acquired its popularity and status on February 17, 1530, when Florence was besieged by Charles V. Even during such dangerous times, the Florentine people, who gathered in Piazza Santa Croce to resist to the invaders, started to play football to celebrate Carnival. This became a cult event that remained in the city’s memory. Years after, people started to recreate that moment every year on the occasion of the celebrations of San Giovanni, the patron saint of Florence.
The calcio storico tournament opposes the four ancient neighborhoods of Florence. Each team is characterized by a color: the Rossi (red) from Santa Maria Novella, the Azzurri (blue) from Santa Croce, the Verdi (green) from San Giovanni and the Bianchi (white) from Santo Spirito.
Even if we talk about calcio (football) the calcio storico is actually a combination of football and rugby. During the games, the team players wear the traditional costumes of the event which are puffed trousers of the team color.
Every game of calcio storico takes place in Piazza Santa Croce to continue the tradition, which is covered in sand to create the rectangular field. Each team is composed of 27 players with 4 datori indietro (goalkeepers), 3 datori innanzi (fullbacks), 5 sconciatori (halfbacks) and 15 innanzi o corridori (forwards). The game begins when the ball is thrown and the team who scores more goals wins.
The calcio storico is played in three matches of 50 minutes. According to the tradition the draw which determines which teams will be competing during the first two games happens on Easter morning before the traditional Scoppio del Carro (Burst of the Cart) in presence of the four team captains.
The first two matches take place during a week-end at the beginning of June, on the 10th and 11th this year, while the final always falls on June, 24.
In 2022, the Azzurri from Santa Croce won over the Rossi from Santa Maria Novella. This year they will open the competition on June 10, facing the Bianchi from Santo Sprito. On June 11, the previous year’s runners-up, the Rossi, will face the Verdi from San Giovanni.
Tickets are available always a week before each match from the Box Office Toscana on via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1 and the price ranges from 29 to 50 euros, depending on what type of seat you’d like to get. Alternatively, the tournament can be watched on TV, both on the Toscana TV channel and it will also be transmitted internationally.
The calcio storico is a strong symbol of the Florentine culture where players defend the pride and the traditions of their ancestors and even the spectators can feel it from the stands.
The calcio storico fiorentino
Piazza Santa Croce, Firenze
First semifinal: Azzurri di Santa Croce vs Bianchi di Santo Spirito | Saturday 10 June 2023
Second semi-final: Verdi di San Giovanni vs Rossi di Santa Maria Novella | Sunday 11 June 2023
Final match: Saturday 24 June 2023 at 5pm