Calcio Storico Fiorentino

Local Tradition


  • Four teams representing Florence’s districts
  • Held annually in June: semifinals and final
  • Celebrates St. John’s Day, Florence’s patron saint
  • Unique blend of soccer, rugby, and wrestling
Piazza di Santa Croce
Piazza di Santa Croce, San Niccolò, Quartiere 1

Occurs annually in June

Additional Info:

Tickets range 29€ to 80€


Calcio Storico Fiorentino is a historic sport with a rich tradition dating back to the 1500s. It combines elements of soccer, rugby, and wrestling, making it a truly unique event.

Every June, four teams representing the districts of Florence compete in semifinals and a final match in celebration of St. John’s Day, the patron saint of Florence.

The event takes place at the iconic Piazza Santa Croce, where the square is transformed into a sand-covered battleground for the players, dressed in medieval costumes.

The semifinal matches occur in early June with the winners advancing to the final in late June. The goal of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opponent’s net using any means necessary.

The winning team receives a prize of steaks equivalent to the weight of a white calf. The event attracts both locals and tourists, offering a rare glimpse into Florence’s rich cultural history and an opportunity to witness a sport with ancient roots.


Calcio Storico Fiorentino has a long history that can be traced back to the 1500s. Its origins stem from ancient Greek and Roman sports, evolving through the Middle Ages into the uniquely Florentine game it is today.

The sport was initially played by aristocrats and took place between Epiphany and Lent. It has since become an integral part of Florence’s identity and cultural heritage, with each of the four teams representing a historic neighborhood in the city.

The official rules of Calcio Storico were published in 1580 by Giovanni de’ Bardi, a Florentine count. Since then, the sport has evolved, but its essence remains the same: a ruthless, fiercely competitive game that unites the people of Florence in celebration of their history and traditions.

The event coincides with the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence, adding to the city’s festivities and creating an atmosphere of unity and pride among its residents.

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