On the day, Florentines dress in Renaissance gear to celebrate their patron saint, San Giovanni, beating drums and leading a procession to Piazza Santa Croce for the big game, which takes place in a giant sandpit.
Why: Calcio Storico began in the 16th century, some say to rally support for town patron San Giovanni. The sport wasn’t played for about 200 years until it was revived in 1930. With two teams of 27 men battling it out in a 50-minute, non-stop match, it remains as brutal today as it ever was.
DO it because: If half-naked men in Renaissance pants fighting each other for a ball isn’t tempting enough, the Florentines create their own liquor for this event. Walnut hulls are infused with alcohol for two months prior to the match to enhance spectator spirit.
June 24 | San Giovanni, Italy