Best described as a sporting event with deep roots and historical significance, this event is a combination of soccer, rugby, and wrestling all while played in traditional costume and is considered one of the craziest festivals in Italy. There are four teams representing the four historical neighborhoods that compete against each other to reach the finals. This sport is super violent, really intense and a bit confusing to watch – but obviously really exciting. The field is somewhat set up like a soccer field, with goals at each end but it is covered with sand instead of grass. There are 27 players for each team and play for 50 minutes. The aim of the game is to get the ball over the opponent’s goal, which is more like a fence. Players are allowed to use hands and feet, as well as tripping and tackling – even martial arts moves! Injuries are frequent but substitution of players is not allowed. The event is super local and is played in the city square. Calcio Storico pays homage to the history of Firoentino and is a celebration of Florence pride.
“What an extraordinary spectacle!! The costumes, the music, the flags, the athletes all create an atmosphere for this ancient traditional event. A bit violent, but definitely exciting, I take my hat off to these guys, they really have guts to get out there and play this game.”
Calcio Storico Firoentino takes place every year in Florence, Italy. The game is played in front of Santa Croce at the Piazza Santa Croce. In recent years, as part of the effort to keep the event local, tickets are only sold in person at the local box office. If you are not able to score a ticket to see the game in person, the event is always live streamed or you can watch on t.v or in a local pub.
As Florence is a pretty small area, most people get around on foot, by motor bike or bicycle. It is possible to get public busses and taxi, as well as rental cars, but it is easier on foot. If renting a car, be warned that there are a lot of one way streets and parking is hard to find.
You can find accommodation for any budget level while in Florence. There are hotels, hostels, BnB’s, homes to rent, villas, apartments and luxury apartments to stay. There are even kid friendly accommodations if you happen to be traveling with little adventurers.
head to the map below for the raddest deals on hotels and Airbnb’s in Florence.
This is an all-day event. Starting in the morning, there is a medieval parade with marching bands and people in costume taking over the streets and celebrating throughout the day. The main event doesn’t start until 17:00 so you have the whole day to enjoy the culture. After the game, many people spread out to the pubs to continue the celebrations. There are even fireworks over the river.
Aside from Calcio Storico, there are many museums to visit, loads of incredible traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as little boutiques and shops to look through. Florence also has many parks and hiking trails to explore. There are also various water activities like cruises, stand up paddle boarding and rafting. If being active isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the river with drink in hand at one of the many outdoor bars.
The main event of Calcio Storico takes place on June 24, 2019.
Do you self a favor and head to Florence at the end of June, to witness this incredible ancient celebration. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Rad Season is providing you with hotels and Airbnbs at the lowest prices available online. Book your stay for Calcio Storico Fiorentino 2019 using the map below!
The best and most unique action sports and adventure events in Italy