First, let me just say, that the pomp and circumstance surrounding Calcio Storico lasts longer than the game itself. That would include the hour long parade just to get to the playing field, the LONG processional entrance of the entire parade participants and the players, and the post-game wrap up processional that were nearly as long as the first.
For someone with Sporting ADD, watching the beginning and ending of the game was really taxing for my attention span – but it was also so fascinating that I did, in fact, manage to stay awake through the whole event. I just kept saying to myself, “Once in a lifetime…once in a lifetime…” That helped with keeping me focused. As far as keeping me entertained – well you just have to experience Calcio Storico to understand how humorous it is.
I realize how barbaric I sound right now considering that I watched men beat the crap out of each other allfor sport – but it **was** entertainig. I am sorry the one guy broke his leg, the one got knocked out – literaly, the one had blood running down his face and back… but they signed up for this!
So, just what IS Calcio Storico? It translates to “Historic Soccer” but it’s really a no rules game of utter brutality. Get the ball. Get it over the opponent’s side of the fence. No rules against beating each other up to make that happen! Seriously – it was insane! Just watch a bit of it here – these guys are BRUTES!
My favorite part of the whole thing was when the teams released their team colors in the air and the whole place was overcome with a red sky and then a green sky. LOVED IT! (But I was glad I was up on the terrace and not in the stands!!)
Of course there’s nothing like this in America. First, this game is 1200 years old which means Florentines have been playing this game longer than America has even exsited as a country! What a thought! Second, this would never be allowed in America. The only thing that comes close is the crazy wrestling circus that’s full of choreographed maneuvers. Yes, there are some sports that can become as brutal as this (think: contact martial arts) but this game is mix of contact martial arts, boxing, wrestling, soccer, lacross, and football all mixed in to one crazy game!
As a side note: we had great seats thanks to Hope renting an Airbnb for her and a friend, and then inviting us all over to watch from her terrace. What a treat! What a view!! Thanks, Hope!