On February 17th in the year 1530, Florence was besieged by the troops of Carlo V and Pope Clemente VII, who wanted to bring the Medici Family back to Florence. A game of ‘soccer’ was played to mock and make fun of the enemy. This was not the same soccer as the one we know today, but the historical game known as Calcio Storico: an ancient game, that according to some people was played by Romans, called Harpastum and played to keep the body trained. The Florentines decided to demonstrate to the army of Carlo V that life in the city was the same and they were not going to stop doing what they always did. So they decided to play the game in front of the troops. One team was dressed in white and the other in green and the prize for the winner was a calf.
Nobody knows how the match ended or which team won – it doesn’t matter….what really matters is that the game played on that day will be remembered as a great event in the history of Florence. To remember that fateful day, this Sunday 17th February 2019 the players of “Calcio Storico Fiorentino” will return to the same field in Piazza Santa Croce square to honour the brave warriors who preceded them. Santa Croce square will be as it was in the 16th century to remind people of the events of that important day.
“The match played is an anthem to Florence, a symbol that is part of the identity of each Florentine and that adds a sense of belonging to our city.”