More gladiatorial than sporting, the precursor of the ‘beautiful game’ in Italy was a ruthless brawl, designed to keep soldiers fit in between battles. The tradition began in the 15th century – although its earliest origins may have been in Roman times – and was revived in the 1930s.
Nowadays, three matches are played in Piazza Santa Croce, by teams drawn from Florence’s four major neighbourhoods, each wearing the representative colours of the district.
A parade arrives, headed by the district nobles on horseback.
Each match begins with the cry of ‘Viva Firenze!’ and continues for a full hour of continuous struggling and scuffling among players dressed in 15th-century costumes, before the magnificent church of Santa Croce.
The final match is played on June 24th, Saint John’s Day, when marvelous fireworks are displayed at night over the Arno river.
"If we thank you for everything we would need the whole book! The week was Perfect. Thank you for ordering great weather. All amenities were superb. The added personal touches, from your restaurant suggestions to your amazing cleaning/cooking team, make this place beyond a 10-star.
Your gift to us of the beautiful paint we will cherish and will be definitely hanging in our homes.
We will recommending your place to everyone we know.
The memories we take with us from your villa will last us a lifetime."
"This was the second time that we spent our holidays in your beautiful house. Even with another family that had been joining us for these past fewdays.
Thanks to your caring we enjoyed again very peaceful, relaxing, inspiring and wonderful days in and around your house and the countryside.
Everything is in perfect shape – and if something wasn’t working as it should we could always rely on your attention. Also we were very thankful for your patience!
You might have noticed before but the terrasse is perfectly located for planet and moon observations. We even were privileged enough to observe the unique blood moon."
"Our family and friends loved your beautiful villa and all its amenities. You were a charming and gracious host, and your Prosecco and Olive Oil were a special treat. We also enjoyed your chefs. A perfect Tuscan Holiday!"
"Thank you for being a wonderful host, for going out of your way to help us with anything we needed, and for sitting with us on your lovely patio and exchanging great stories. It has been a pleasure getting to know you, and I look forward to keeping in touch after we part ways. Your villa is spectacular, but it was made extra special by the hospitality you provided. Grazie mille!"
"Our stay at Borgo di Campioni has been wonderful! The villa and the views are simply stunning! The children loved the swimming pool to cool off after a day of sightseeing in this beautiful part of Tuscany. Giuliano has been an absolute star during our stay! The sweet treats and giant pizza were out of this world! We highly recommend a visit to Lucca; such a charming little town, full of hidden gems. WE just wish we could stay longer…"
"Thank you very much for all your wonderful hospitality at your lovely Borgo di Campioni! Our extended family had a wonderful stay in your fantastic villa with many afternoons spent playing with the children in the pool. Exploring the surrounding hills was a delight, as was the lovely dinners at the trattoria at borgo a Buggiano – highly recommended for tasty dinners, great atmosphere and family soirees! We hope to come back very soon!"
"We will always remember this beautiful place! Borgo di Campioni is truly a slice of heaven. The house and setting… too magnificent for words. You welcomed us with open arms and kept us there for our entire stay. We so appreciate all that you did for us – booking taxis, bringing us special “treats”, etc. etc. Your kindness and love will always live on in all of our hearts. Your Vilma gave us the most wonderful family vacation that we have ever had! We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts".
"We leave behind a piece of our hearts on this beautiful Tuscan hilltop at Borgo di Campioni. You are kind and generous host and Vilma is warm and welcoming. We thank you for a vacation of our dreams in this slice of heaven on Earth. With love and gratitude".
"A huge thank you from all of us for such a wonderful holiday. Borgo di Campioni is an incredibly special place and your wonderful hospitality made it all the most enjoyable. We feel very privileged to have shared your special place. Many thanks form us all".
"It’s been 18 months since the Coronavirus pandemic emerged. We didn’t quite expect to be able to travel this summer, but despite having been required to take tests and quarantine for 5 days we made the journey! When we arrived we were amazed by the view and Giuliano’s hospitality. It has been the perfect holiday! Grazie mille!"
"Molte grazie per una settimana meravigliosa. Il tuo aiuto era fantastico. Noi torneremo in questo paradiso nel futuro per vacanze più serene! Love and best wishes!"
We had a wonderful week at your villa! We were fantastic hosts and made pur visit memorable! Hope one day to visit again. Sincerely.
So many thanks for your generous hospitality. You were our Dream Team! We’re already “homesick” and might return to this corner of paradise. Love & many greetings.
Thank you so much for everything, we have had a fantastic week you have been the best host we could imagine! We have fallen in love with Tuscany and we will come back! With best wishes.
Beautiful house (villa). Beautiful landscape. Beautiful views. We had a great time here with our friends!
What a great holiday! We loved every minute of our trip in Tuscany – we hope to return soon.
We were delighted with our first impressions of the Villa gardens and view. It did not disappoint. We spent a wonderful week in Tuscany exploring the local sites, tasting food and enjoying the warm hospitality. A truly memorable experience. Thank you!
Dearest Giuliano and Anna, thank you both for the most special two weeks with you. The views are breathtaking and the villa so relaxing. We have enjoyed every minute and we take you all home in our hearts.
Thank you so muchfor helping create such a fantastic holiday experience. What a fabulous place – a veritable “home from home”. We have left Italy with heavy hearts – we’ll miss such warm “Italian-style” hospitality (& cooking!!). Can’t wait to return next years!
mit wehmut aber auch tiefer befriedigung geniessen wir noch die letzten stunden in diesem wundervallen haus. Du hast uns durch deine passion und hingabe wundervolle tage in einer wundervollen umgebung ermoglicht. Du sagst, es sei wie das paradies. Fur uns ist es das paradies. Auch die strapazen mit Lars auf dem Rennvelo wollen wir nicht missen. Wir sind ziemlich sicher, wir waren nicht das letzte mal deine gaste! Alles gute und liebe.