|Duomo, Florence, Italy|
|Calcio Storico Poster|
|Men in tights / Pre-game Pageantry|
|21st Century Gladiators|
Their is much pageantry and celebration. The players and many costumed flag wavers and musicians parade though town on their way to Santa Croce under the blazing heat of a Tuscan June. The final is always played on June 24 each year to honor the feast day of Florence's patron Saint -- John the Baptist.
There is about an hour of pomp and pageantry on the field prior to the start of the game. The actual game time is 50 minutes. During the semi-final game we saw between the Verdi and the Azzurri, play was interrupted twice to carry players off the field on stretchers. Mouth guards are the only protective equipment allowed.
We went to a fight and a soccer match broke out! This is a violent brutal game. It has, at times, been an opportunity for neighborhood score settling.
Watching Calcio Storico was the closest I have ever come to being a war correspondent! The Azzuri of Santa Croce destroyed the Verdi of San Giovanni in the match we saw. They went on to beat Bianchi by a score of 2 to 0 in the final on June 24th.
Commander Kelly says, "Forza Calcio Storico!"
If the violence of watching a Calcio Storico match under the Tuscan sun or even just reading about it on a blog has jangled your nerves you may be in need of alcoholic refreshment. I would suggest a refreshing Spritz. Here is the Recipe.
In a large wine glass half-way filled with ice add...
3 parts Prosecco
2 parts Aperol
1 part Pellegrino
Slice of Orange
Enjoy the summer!
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