• About

    Match of the Siege 2023 (Partita dell’Assedio 2023), the most important match in the Calcio Storico Fiorentino calendar of events, will take place on Friday, February 17, 2023, in Florence. The game will start around 4 pm in Piazza di Santa Croce, in front of the Church of Santa Croce.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition of the match was cancelled, while the 2022 edition of the event was held on June 17, 2022.

    Calcio Storico Fiorentino (Historical Florentine Football) is an early form of football born in the 16th century, a mix of rugby, soccer and wrestling, which is still played in Florence.

    The four teams facing each other on the field are the Bianchi (White) of Santo Spirito, the Azzurri (Blue) of Santa Croce, the Rossi (Red) of Santa Maria Novella, and the Verdi (Green) of San Giovanni. The game, lasting only 50 minutes, is very violent and often ends up with broken limbs and a lot of blood.

     

    SHORT HISTORY

    The first match of Calcio Storico was held on February 17, 1530, when Florence was besieged by the army of Carlo V and Pope Clemente VII, who were trying to bring back the Medici family from their exile. Instead of celebrating the carnival, the people played a match of Calcio Storico, to make fun of the attackers.

    The popularity of the game increased and lasted throughout the 17th century, but in the following century it began to decline, and soon Calcio Storico disappeared, at least as an organized event. The last official game was played in January 1739, in the Square of Santa Croce, in the presence of Maria Theresa, future Empress of Austria.

    Except for two games played in 1898 and 1902, almost two centuries passed before the city of Florence could see its ancient game revived.

    The rebirth of the game happened in May, 1930, when, for the four hundredth anniversary of the Siege of Florence, on the initiative of Alessandro Pavolini, an Italian politician, was organized the first tournament between the districts of the city.

    Since 1930, except for the Second World War period, the challenges between the players of the four historical quarters of Florence were regularly held, and the Historical Florentine Football became over time the most important commemorative event in Florence.

    Today, besides the match in February, there are three other matches, two preliminaries and the final, which are held in June, on the occasion of the annual celebrations of the patron saint of the city, Saint John the Baptist.

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