This beautiful piazza in front of the Chiesa di Santa Croce is used every year over the weekend when Florence celebrates it's Patron Saint John the Baptist. The 4 key quarters of the City put on a mock medieval football match in which they start at least in ful medieval flag throwers costumes ! Each quarter fights manfully to win the ancient prize of a fatted calf and generally this means he has his clothes - if not his ears - torn off during this feriocious battle!! The match is held in rememberance of a famous football match held during the Siege of Florence in 1529 when they were trying to persuade the enemy at the Gates that these exhausted people were still fit and spritely enough to enjoy themselves - look carefully along the walls on either side of the Piazza and you will find the kick off points from which they have to start the game - after that it seems there are no holds barred!!
Another intersting feature of the Piazza is the enormous statue of Dante - in the time of the flood in 1966 the water came to just below his feet - imagine this icon of the City looked as if he were walking on water ...! Great at Xmas time too when the Piazza is filled with markets
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