The Hardest (Combat) Sport In The World - Calcio Storico

The Hardest (Combat) Sport In The World - Calcio Storico
Published on Feb 6, 2023, 7:50:43 AM

Calcio Storico, also known as "historic football," is an old kind of football that dates back to the 16th century. It was derived from the ancient Roman "harpastum" and is played by teams of 27, using both feet and hands.

It's a sport that originated in Florence and is still played today while wearing medieval clothing. It combines rugby, wrestling, and football. The four teams representing the city's historic neighbourhoods compete against one another, first in two semifinal matches, and then in the championship game.

Headbutting, punching, elbowing, and choking are all permitted but sucker punches and kicks to the head are not.


Calcio Storico's violent features may be traced back to a single day in the 16th century: February 17, 1530. These were the gloomy days of the Siege of Florence, which lasted from 1529 to 1530, when the city was under attack by Imperial and Spanish soldiers seeking to topple the Republic of Florence and restore the Medici as rulers.

The city used these violent games in Piazza Santa Croce to show off its might to the Imperial force and ever since then, the game has embodied the city's spirit of resistance. The legendary Calcio Storico matches each year are a reflection of the intense pride the Florentines have in their past.


The 27 members on each team enter the sand-covered playing area with a single objective in mind. The goal is to put the ball in the goal net, which is the distance between the two short sides of the rectangular pitch. But there's a catch: goals only count for one point. If you attempt to score but fail, the opposing team get one-half of a point. The team with the most goals at the end of 50 minutes wins.

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