In Pictures: The vibrance and violence of Calcio Storico

A relative of football, Team 33 spoke to Chloe Beresford about its origins and revival

BY Raf Diallo 13:54 Wednesday 26 July 2017, 13:54 26 Jul 2017

Vandeville Eric/ABACA/PA Images

From origins in the 16th century Renaissance period to a revival under Benito Mussolini in the 1930s, Calcio Storico has stood the test of time.

A brutal and rudimentary cousin of football played annually in the Florence region, it draws tourists in for its June tournament which pits participants from four distinct districts of the city.

On this week's Team 33, I spoke to The Sportsman Serie A correspondent and Fiorentina expert Chloe Beresford about Calcio Storico, including the type of violence permitted in a setting which plays host to teams of 27 each.   

You can listen to the full interview with Chloe on the podcast player or stream/download on iTunes.

But to give you an idea what Calcio Storico looks like, here are a few images to illustrate the vibrance and violence.

  Jin Yu/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The rules of Calcio Storico are simple: during fifty minutes two teams of 27 players face each other on a rectangular sandy field, trying to send the ball into the opponent's net. If a player is injured or excluded, he cannot be replaced. It does not matter how the ball lands in the net since no holds are barred. Vandeville Eric/ABACA/PA Images

Players compete during the final match of the Calcio Storico Fiorentino traditional 16th Century Renaissance ball game at Santa Croce square in Florence, central Italy, June 24, 2017. (Xinhua/Jin Yu)

Jin Yu/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The winners are rewarded with a mass of steaks equivalent in weight to the more traditional prize of a white calf or bistecca fiorentina, which was historically butchered for the occasion. The players are volunteers in their twenties or thirties. Vandeville Eric/ABACA/PA Images

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