If you're in the city during soccer (football) season and have some time to spare, going to see a game is one of the best ways to get a taste of the locals when they're at their most frenzied and energetic. I don't care too much for soccer, but I fully enjoyed watching and listening to the crowds cheer on their teams. One surprise for me - the opposing team's fans (the game I saw was Florence vs. Sienna) was kept in a locked, sectioned-off portion of the stadium throughout the game! The fans didn't seem to mind, it kept crowd violence from occurring, and it was definately a first for me in terms of what I've seen at professional sports events.
Calcio Storico Fiorentino, or Ancient Florentine Football (sometimes called Costume Football) is an ancient game that is a combination of soccer, football, and boxing. It is one of the most brutal sporting events in the world. Once a way that soldiers prepared for war, it remains as a game for only the very tried and tested. Each team has 27 players and there are not subsitutes. So if taken off the field, the team plays with less men.
Developed in the 16th century, the Azzurro (the Blues) belongs to Santa Croce, the Verde (the Greens) belongs to San Giovanni, the Bianco (the Whites) belongs to Santo Spirito and the Rosso (the Reds) belongs to Santa Maria Novella. Every June, on two Sundays just before the Feast of San Giovanni, there are two semifinal games to decide the teams for the final match. The championships take place on the feast of San Giovanni which is June 24th.
The stadium is a makeshift one built in June in front of Santa Croce with Dante overlooking the affair. Portable bleachers are brought in, and a field created with dirt, fence, and beds covered with red vinyl.
The only rule is that you cannot kick an unconscious player in the head. Players are carted off for various injuries that include broken bones. As the match wears on, the participants hold onto each other to prevent them from playing. There are high flying kicks, punches to the face, and hard tackling. The goals are the width of the end zone, and a player can be seen taking his full body and the ball over the end zone barrior to be awarded a point. The official is not immune to being punched as arguments break out during the match.
There is parade that starts in front of the Duomo on completion of mass. Flag throwers and drummers march the street to the Piazza della Signoria to Sante Croce. If it is the greens versus the blues, then they too are in the parade. There is a semifinal match the leads to the championship game.
Behind the pig in San Lorenzo market, there is a building which houses the society of Calcio Fiorentino, They meet to practice, and if you are fortunate, can see them during your visit/
This ticket is among the toughest to get as there is very limited seating, and the frenzy of the fans is high as fights break out in the stands as well. Plan and simple, you have to be crazy to play this game.
Equipment: A ball, but no protective gear.
A rowing club on the Arno
There is a rowing club right next to the Ponte Vecchio so you have a very scenic rowing location. But it´s a private club so no tourists will get a boat here.... Only a short distance on the Arno can be rowed, as there are two weirs after a few meters in each direction....Maybe that´s why they have such a rowing boat on the jetty!!!
Rowing under the Old Bridge
Well I don't think there's much to add. Rowing into the sunset on the Arno River is something special!
La Fiorentina is Florence's soccer or futbol team and they play there games at the Stadio Artemio Frachi. The soccer season runs from August to May, and home games are played every other Sunday.
There are various swimming pools in Florence which are very crowded during summer. Here is a link for the most popular ones. During winter pools work on a booked time slot basis.
- Water Sports
Birthplace of soccer?
Some Florentines will tell you that soccer was invented here. Now, I'm sure this will be disputed by many, but there's no doubt that the locals, like all Italians, have a passion for the game.
If u love Canaoeing then u must not miss this chance. I have seen a lot of people enjoying the time in the river with their canaoes.
Equipment: I have really no idea about it.
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