I went to a fight and a game broke out...
Florence Travel Blog› entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
Every year in Florence there is a huge festival in the summer - I don't know much about it, but here is what we experienced:
We were walking down the street and heard loud drums, cymbals, etc. Following the noise we found a parade of people dressed in medieval garb dancing and waving flags. We discovered that the parade was to conclude later in the "arena" built in Santa Croce square.
The square was filled with dirt about 12" deep and lined with stadium bleachers. We bought tickets for 7 euros each (?) and secured our spot in one of the "end zones" to watch a game of medieval soccer.
The game lasted about one and a half hours. For the first 45 minutes or so the "competition" was utter chaos - no game was played, only fighting. It was basically a big brawl between two teams of 10-15 players each where the objective was apparently to rid your opponent of as many players as possible by any means possible.
Once the fighting was over the game began. It resembled rugby (with considerably more brutality) more than soccer.
If you are ever in Florence in early to mid June, I highly recommend catching a match - it will change your life.