June 24, Florence’s special holiday

Parades, Calcio Storico & Fireworks are part of the celebrations


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.



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.


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:



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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