Sunday, June 15, 2008

Calcio storico

One of the perks of living in Florence, instead of just visiting for a few days, is that you can take advantage of the various events that happen throughout the year. Today, we went to a “calcio storico” game in Santa Croce square, a game dating back to the 16th century. Even though calcio is the word for soccer in Italian, this sport was more like a cross between football and rugby, with some wrestling thrown in. The tournament pits the four quarters of the city against each other, the winner getting a live cow (or the equivalent in steaks, I’ve read different things). We were seated in the green section, though the San Giovanni quarter of the city didn’t end up being able to field a team, and so their team was replaced by a purple team of free agents. I guess their motivation was therefore not high enough, and “our” team ended up clearly losing to the red team from Santa Maria Novella. Before and after the game, there was a procession of people in historical costume, which was quite photogenic when combined with the backdrop of Santa Croce church.

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