A ball game, old-style, born in Florence in the Middle Ages during a siege, is a tourist draw today.
A ball game, old-style, born in Florence in the Middle Ages during a siege, is a tourist draw today. Home and foreign visitors packed the Piazza della Signoria, Florence, for the event this year (June 24) preceded by a pageant by members of the City's noble families in the apparel of their medieval ancestors - doublets, hose, armour, halberds, banners. And trumpets - a reminder of the days of the siege when the townspeople sounded them during a game to let the enemy beyond the walls know they were of good morale.
The game is nearer to rugby than soccer, with weight and wrestling more important factors than dexterity of foot. The score was a draw (1-1) - a fair outcome in a game of...assault mutually administered.
The traditional winner's prize: a small ox. But with the score drawn, a team of judges were to meet well after the heat of battle to decide on doubting the prize - or tossing a coin for it.