Lots of funny things have endured or been revived in Italy. The Palio comes to mind. Also, galloping clowns being elected prime minister. But Calcio Storico (“Historic Football”) is on a completely different level of batshit crazy.
One could argue that many popular sports are little more than glorified violence with points, but Calcio Storico doesn’t bother downplaying the flagrant brutality from its 16th century origins. A mix of rugby, soccer, football (American), boxing, mixed marshal arts and Greco Roman wrestling, calling Calcio “the most violent sport on Earth” is not hyperbole.
It was allegedly more violent in its original form, but even today legal tactics include head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking, but “sucker punches and kicks to the head are banned.” Way to draw the line Calcio dudes.
The game was once played throughout Italy. Today it can only be seen during the annual tournament, held each year in the third week of June in Florence’s Piazza Santa Croce.
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