June 24, Florence’s special holiday

Parades, Calcio Storico & Fireworks are part of the celebrations

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On June 24, Florence celebrates the feast day for its patron saint, St. John the Baptist, considered the “symbol of moral rectitude and political correctness”* on whom medieval Florence aspired to build its economic fortune and good government of the Republic. The image of the saint was even stamped on the city’s currency, the florin.

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The day has thus been a day of celebration for the city through the centuries. Every year, for St. John, the city organizes several cultural and folkloric events that end with the magnificent fireworks show, called i fochi di San Giovanni by Florentines.

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One way Florentines celebrate is by holding the calcio historico on Piazza Santa Croce. in which the 4 quartieri of Florence compete.

For the past 2 weeks the city has been preparing the Piazza.  It has been fun to watch the square being prepared for spectators:

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And below, you can watch a bit of a previous game.  I will never go to this event because it is very brutal and bloody.

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