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Once A Year The Residents Of Florence Play The Most Violent Sport On Earth

This fabulous film by David Battistella looks at Calcio fiorentino, an 18th Century version of football. The sport includes elements of rugby, American football and smacking each other really hard in the face.

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It's a game with a long history. This illustration dates back to 1688.

It was reserved for rich aristocrats who played every night between Epiphany and Lent. Even POPES used to get involved. According to Wikipedia Henry III described it as "Too small to be a real war and too cruel to be a game."

David describes it as the "most exciting sporting event I have ever witnessed live". Watch the full video: