Modern Gladiators? Try a Game of ‘Calico’ – Medics Included

If you live in Florence, Italy, you know the game of calcio storico well. Every year, men from the city’s four historical districts gather together to play something that resembles American football, rugby, and barroom brawling. The goal is simple — get the ball into the other team’s endzone — but the rules are hard to come by. And even though there’s no real prize, men have been playing it since the 15th Century.

“It is like a war — no one does it for the money. You do it because you feel an obligation to fight. So you fight. And if you come back alive, you get drunk and talk about it.”

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