Life: Calcio Fiorentino

Sep 30, 2015 477

In 16th century Italy, Italians played a sport called Calcio Fiorentino. It is an extremely violent game, and combines elements of soccer, rugby and bare-knuckle fighting into one brutal and bloody event. Some history books say it was played by rich aristocrats, and sometimes even Popes, Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII were said to be particularly fond of the game and often joined in. But I find that hard to believe.

The reason I find it hard to believe is that rich aristocrats and Popes didn't even dress themselves in those days, so it's hard to imagine them jumping into the middle of such a bloody and brutal sport. And by the time the Popes were elected Pope, they were old and kind of on the chubby side and well, you look at the photos and tell me if you think this is a sport for chubby, old men.

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