There is a great anticipation for the most important historical event in the city of Florence: Florentine historical football. It is a three game tournament, two eliminations and one final, which takes place at the annual festivals of St. John, the patron saint of the city. The four historical districts of Florence, to which it is assigned a colour, challenge themselves: Whites of Santo Spirito, Reds of Santa Maria Novella, Light blue of Santa Croce, Greens of San Giovanni. Here are the dates of events in Florence:
- On Saturday, 9th June, first semi-final: Light blue of Santa Croce against the Reds of Santa Maria Novella.
- On Sunday, 10th June, second semi-final: Whites of Santo Spirito against the Greens of St. John.
- On Saturday, 24th June, the final during the feast of St. John.
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Origins of the Florentine historical football
It seems that the game has ancient origins: a similar game is even quoted in Homeric poems. Instead, the Florentine tradition originated in the 14th century when it was played everywhere and, during the Medici dynasty, were organized challenges similar to those of today. The recovery of the game in the 20th century took place in 1930. The matches take place with the costumes of the 16th century in memory and re-enactment of a particular moment in Florentine history. On February 17th 1530, Piazza Santa Croce in Florence became the theatre of one of the most important challenges of the Florentine Republic to Emperor Carlo V, when the population besieged for many months by imperial troops, came to a football match, giving impression of not considering the army of the Empire worthy of attention.
Rules of the historic Florentine football matches
Matches last for fifty minutes. Each team consists of twenty-seven kickers and no replacement is foreseen. The aim of the game is to allow the two teams to carry (with any means) the ball to the bottom of the opponent’s field and deposit it into the net scoring thus the “hunt”. At each hunting mark the teams change in the field.
As prize for victory, there is the symbolic gesture of delivery to the winning team of a Chianina breed.
We wait for you at the Hotel Brunelleschi for this amazing event. For information and ticket purchases please contact our concierge: email@example.com.
Photo: Fabrizio Landi