Calcio Storico is a variation of football which is a combination of soccer, rugby, and wrestling. It is also named Calcio in Costume as the footballers must wear medieval costumes for the game, according to the tradition that was established back in the 16th century. The tournament brings together four teams that represent the four historic districts of Florence, each defined by a particular colour, namely green, red, white, and blue. The teams of 27 players each fight for a victory using both hands and feet for passing and controlling the ball.
During the game, Piazza Santa Croce turns into a fighting arena with 54 footballers passionately craving for the victory for their districts for 50 minutes. Participants play in two semi-finals on one of the weekends in early June.
The final game takes place on June 24th, the day of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence. On that day, at around 4 p.m. you can watch the parade in historical costumes, and then at 5 p.m., the final match starts. The winner is rewarded with a calf that symbolizes physical victory. In the evening, celebrations end with the spectacular fireworks set at the Piazzale Michelangelo, with the audience spreading along the banks of the Arno.