The historical Florentine football is a discipline that recall to the memory the ancient charm and competition that belongs to other ages and to a different Florence. Yet the historical Florentine football has got a lot of things in common with modern sports such as football and rugby.
How the historical florentine football was born
The historical Florentine football has such ancients origins that belong to ancient Greeks and Romans; infact they were already used to spend their free time playing games which needed a spherical object very similar to nowadays balls. Romans inherted this sport in its early stages from Greeks and they called it Harpastum, that in latin means something referred to a big size ball. This game was played on a sandy ground between two teams which had to gain the ball following some already arranged rules. From the leggionaires’ passion who played it the ancestor of the historical Florentine football started spreading all over the empire and it fascinated also the emperor Augustus, as it was written by the historian and biographer Svetonio in his masterpiece “Vita dei Cesari“.
Development of the historical Florentine football
As the centuries passed by, this sport strated to have more and more exact rules and an audience full of passion not only in Rome but even outside of the wall of the city. However the first sure sources of this sport are from the beginning of the 15 century. In these ages the ancient Florentine football was very popular between the guys of florence and, as today, they were used to organize matches in the roads and in the squares, helped by the easiness of the game. In a few time rules became stricter and stricter due to the requirement to keep public order in Florence and everywhere in other cities. So the majority of the players were young nobles who showed their refined uniforms that are nowadays in the common immaginary. AS it is known, the typical period of the historical Florentine football was carnival.
A really special match
It is very important in the history of the ancient florentine football the match played on 17 february 1530 in santa croce square in Florence by some footballers who wanted to show their courage during the siege of Charles V and at the same time no matters in what was happening keeping on playing football. This match has become so famous that the modern stories are always inspired by it.
Ups and downs
After 1530 the historical florentine football went on having success even in the XVI and XVII centuries until a slow but steady downfall that took it to loose popularity. We know that the last match was played in 1739
The historical florentine football has known a big rebirth. In 1930 the great soldier Alessandro Pavolini organised the first tournament of the ancient florentine football that had to be set between the neighborhoods of the cities. Since 1930, except during the war, the tournament has become the most important historical event in Florence. Even today you can partecipate to this spectacular event that is hold in June to celebrate saint John, the protector of the city.