Thursday 9 June 2022

Calcio Storico Fiorentino 2022

The 2022 Calcio Storico Fiorentino, that brutal competition among four Florentine teams, begins tomorrow, Friday 10 June 2022, with the semifinals taking place on Friday 10 June and Saturday 11 June instead of on Saturday and Sunday because a national referendum takes place held on Sunday the 12 June. The final takes place as always on 24 June 2022.

I guess almost every one has heard of the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, and in fact it's worth seeing this spectacle (once). Also don't forget that before the calcio itself there will be a splendid display of Tuscany flag throwing. Another Tuscan speciality that is well worth seeing, either on this occasion or another.

Flag throwers at the Calcio Storico Fiorentino in Florence

Flag throwers at the Calcio Storico Fiorentino in Florence

The Calcio Storico Fiorentino originated in the 16C in Florence and is played today in historical costume. The four teams are: Santa Croce (Azzurri, or Blues), Santo Spirito (Bianchi, or Whites), Santa Maria Novella (Rossi, or Reds), and San Giovanni (Verdi, or Greens). The game was invented by rich aristocreats and took place every night between Epiphany and Lent. The rules of the Calcio Storico were first published in 1580 by Giovanni de’ Bardi. These days it's a somewhat rougher event - actually, brutal is the appropriate expression and I sometimes wonder whether there are any "rules" at all. It's even rumoured that some players are released from jail for a day to participate - I don't think that's true.

On 24 June at 4 pm, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence, a spectacular parade in historical costume starts in Piazza Santa Maria Novella and wends its way through the centre of Florence to Piazza Santa Croce. The four contrade of Florence are represented and you’ll see the players going by as they go to play the final, even those who won’t be playing the final. The parade starts roughly around 4pm since the final should start around 5 pm.

Calcio Storico Fiorentino 2022
Calcio Storico Fiorentino 2022

To watch the match in Piazza Santa Croce, you need a ticket and they don't come cheap. Tickets cost 80 for Tribuna Onore Centrale, 60 for Tribuna Onore Laterale, 40 for Tribuna C and 29 Curve colori. These need to be bought in advance at the headquarters of BoxOffice Toscana on via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, or at Teatro Verdi.

These are the hours:

  • Monday 6 June from 4 pm BoxOffice (at 9 am can pick up numbers for line) 
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday7, 8, 9 June 9 am - 4 pm BoxOffice
  • Friday, 10 June from 12 - 7 pm only at Teatro Verdi (Via Ghibellina 99)
  • Saturday 11 June at Teatro Verdi, from 12 - 6 pm.
You can also watch on Toscana TV, channel 18, and various streaming services.

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