More gladiatorial than sporting, the precursor of the 'beautiful game' in I ......
More gladiatorial than sporting, the precursor of the 'beautiful game' in Italy was a ruthless brawl, designed to keep soldiers fit in between battles. The tradition began in the 15th century - although its earliest origins may have been in Roman times - and was revived in the 1930s. Nowadays, three matches are played in Piazza Santa Croce, by teams drawn from Florence's four major neighbourhoods, each wearing the representative colours of the district. A parade arrives, headed by the district nobles on horseback. Each game begins to cries of 'Viva Firenze!' and continues for a full hour of continuous struggling and scuffling among players dressed in 15th-century costumes before the magnificent Franciscan church of Santa Croce. The ball is in there somewhere.
Piazza Santa Croce.
Festa di San Giovanni (St John's Day)
24 June 2013
Another aspect of celebrations for the saint's day, involving a ceremonial ......
Another aspect of celebrations for the saint's day, involving a ceremonial procession from Palazzo Vecchio, while there are large fireworks displays at night over the Arno river. A popular activity while watching the fireworks is eating gelato, which is similar to ice cream.
Piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo.
La Rificolona (Festival of the Lanterns)
7 September 2013
A torchlight procession dating back to the days of religious pilgrimage to ......
A torchlight procession dating back to the days of religious pilgrimage to celebrate the Virgin's nativity, with children carrying lanterns all over the city. In Florence, the large basilica of Santissima Annunziata is dedicated to her worship and thus her birthday is a day of celebration. Today, a market is still held in the square in the form of a huge fair of organic produce preceding the festival. It is very common for most lanterns to be burned by the end of the night.
Firenze Marathon (Florence Marathon)
24 November 2013
Annual Florence marathon through the city centre, with over 8,000 runners t ......
Annual Florence marathon through the city centre, with over 8,000 runners taking part. Highlights along the route include the Dumo, Ponte Vecchio bridge, Porta Romana and Stadia Comunale.
Lively pre-Lenten procession held during the week of Shrove Tuesday, which ......
Lively pre-Lenten procession held during the week of Shrove Tuesday, which includes a street festival.
Scoppio del Carro (The Explosion of The Cart)
Date (To be confirmed):
March 2014 (Easter Sunday.)
On Easter Sunday, a large wagon is pulled by white oxen in front of Florenc ......
On Easter Sunday, a large wagon is pulled by white oxen in front of Florence’s cathedral to commemorate the knight Pazzo de 'Pazzi, who planted the banner of the Cross on the battlements of Jerusalem during the first Crusade of 1096. As a gift he received some fragments of the Holy Sepulchre. Upon his return to Florence the stones were used to start the Sacred Fire of Holy Saturday, and were paraded through the city as homage to it in a richly decorated chariot.
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence Musical Festival)
Date (To be confirmed):
Along with Bayreuth and Salzburg, the Florence Music Festival ranks among t ......
Along with Bayreuth and Salzburg, the Florence Music Festival ranks among the oldest and most important European music festivals. More than this, it incorporates annual concert, opera and ballet seasons. Today the festival resides at the centre of musical life in Florence, based in the 2,000-seat Teatro Comunale and neighbouring Piccolo Teatro, a small, modern theatre accommodating an audience of 600. Many great conductors - Vittorio Gui, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Zubin Mehta, von Karajan and Muti - have graced the Comunale, as well as singers of such stature as the divine Maria Callas.
Teatro Comunale, Piccolo Teatro and Teatro Goldoni.
On Ascension Day in Florence, locals gather in Cascine Park along the bank ......
On Ascension Day in Florence, locals gather in Cascine Park along the banks of the River Arno to celebrate Festa del Grillo, or the Cricket Festival, as a chirping cricket traditionally symbolises the arrival of spring. A multitude of stalls sell cricket-related paraphernalia whilst musical entertainment is organised throughout the day. Synthetic crickets are available in vibrantly coloured wood, cane or wire cages, where they are kept with a large lettuce leaf to sustain them; some have electronic mechanisms to imitate the chirping sound, which is believed will bring good luck.