Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site

Main Page This family-friendly site celebrates Italian culture for the enjoyment of children and adults. Site-Overview



Calcio - Italian Football / Soccer, a National Obsession, and Calcio Storico



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Calcio Storico

Some Soccer/Football Sites

Betting on the Games




These wonderful images of Calcio Storico all come from the Florence Town Hall Calcio Storico Page.  Since I'm not profiting from their use, and I've two links to their site on this page, I'm hoping I won't be sued.













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Calcio is the Italian word for 'a kick'.  It may sound primitive, but then the sport has a very long history in Italy.  But don't confuse Calcio today's soccer or football, with Calcio Storico, a rugby-like game played in some form or other since the beginning of recorded history.

Harpastum, as it was know by the Greeks and Romans used feet and hands and dangerous body tackles to move a ball into the goal area.  The game was sent around the Roman empire, including to England.  Over time, in England, a version of the came switched to using only the feet to move the ball into the goal, becoming today's soccer or football.

Calcio is so old...that there is an original sign painted on a wall in an alley near the central post office in Florence, that says in Renaissance Florentine: 

'No Calcio playing allowed in this alley!'

My experiences in Italy with Calcio were limited to getting tipsy on coffee liquors while freezing in the stands of a Serie C match.  

Or the time I watched a spontaneous match breakout at a bus-stop that included some young men, two fathers who happened by with their children, a barista from a coffee bar, and the local priest.  

And then there was the walk near Lake Trasimeno on a Sunday, and every man there had a transistor radio held to his ear so he wouldn't miss out on his favorite team's match. 


Calcio Storico

An early form of Calcio is still played in Florence by teams representing the various districts of the city.  Once a year they hold the final tournament in Piazza Santa Croce, an event called Calcio Storico.  This link is to a special site in Italian that tells you everything about it. 

The square is covered with dirt and stands are erected all round the playing field.  Then the hulks from the opposing teams crash into each other until a timid referee calls time.  

The game looks very similar to rugby, and the players look and act exactly like rugby players, as you can see in the photos on this page.  It's actually a lot of fun to watch!

The winning district's team is then feted all night long in their district, which is decked out with a near kilometer long table on which roasted veal (the calf is the team's prize) and pasta is served.


Some Soccer/Football Sites

The growing Football Italiano site profiles each Italian team, provides a link to the team website on their Links page, has articles, a shop and even a forum.  A great place for English-speaking fans of Italian Soccer!

One of the best site I've come across for fans of Italian Calcio is You register for a free membership to use all their services, but their site contains enough information to keep you busy for months.  

They give the standings of the top tournaments in Italy:  Serie A, Serie B, Coppa Italia.  Then the Serie A is dissected into:  Calendar, Standings, Goal Scorers, Matches, Serie A history (back to 1897!).  Other features include links to club sites, 3D goal replays, and real time net-casts

Football in Italy covers only Serie A, but they have respectfully left the pages of the recently relegated teams (down to Serie B) on their site.  It is mainly a resource for fans outside of Italy to use when planning trips to Italy to attend matches.  You can find travel information, stadium maps, transport details...  

Yahoo - Italian Sports gives the usual information on Serie A, plus links to the latest news stories relating to Calcio.

The Official Home Site of the Lega Calcio is the Italian National Professional Players site.  It gives information on the league tables, clubs, stadiums, the calendar and standings, players lists, and the times of upcoming matches.


Betting on the Games

Alpha Soccer focuses on betting on the matches.  They offer soccer sites, news, tables, and merchandize.

Betting and Calcio are linked in Italy, too.  The famous TotoCalcio betting slips are a national past-time and the payouts are the biggest news on Sunday evening after the matches are all over.  

When the TV program highlighting the day's goal comes on Sunday evening, you can be pretty sure most all Italian men in the country (and many women too) are in front of the TV set watching to see how the teams did and if he has won any money in his attempt to predict the winning teams and the goals scored.  


This site profiles each Italian team, provides a link to the team website on their Links page,

has articles, a shop and even a forum.  A great place for English-speaking fans of Italian Soccer!