In the afternoon, it's time for one of the most popular events linked to the celebrations in honour of St. John: the final of the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, or historic Florentine football.
The renowned Piazza Santa Croce, in the very heart of Florence, becomes the arena of a tradition that dates back to (roughly) the 15th century.
If compared to contemporary sports, Calcio Storico Fiorentino could be considered a mix of wrestling, rugby and soccer. Back in the medieval times, mostly rich aristocrats used to play this game. Nowadays, it puts together aspects of an historical reenactment and the thrill that only a real match (or battle, in a way) can give. In fact, Calcio Storico is felt deeply among the people living in the four historical Florentine neighbourhoods, that is to say the Blues, the Greens, the Reds and the Whites (respectively from Santa Croce, San Giovanni, Santa Maria Novella and Santo Spirito).
After a long parade from Santa Maria Novella to Piazza Santa Croce, presided over by nobles on horseback, the game begins with the cry “Viva Firenze!”. A parade is also held after the match.