What’s this doing in the Digger Blog? Well bear with me. Machinery was involved.
Calcio Storico Fiorentino is a game that dates back to mediaeval times, mixing elements of football, rugby and wrestling. The four districts of Florence each put up a team of 27 players – or kickers, as they actually called – and compete against each other. Henry III of France described it as "too small to be a war, too fierce to be a game", so I’m told.
It has become an annual spectacle Florence and although the 2020 event was cancelled due to Covid, it went ahead this year, albeit behind closed doors and with only two teams involved.
However, it was broadcast live worldwide for the first time. The result was that the Verdi (the greens) of San Giovanni beat the Azzurri (the blues) of Santa Croce by 12 points (?... goals? kills?) to 1.
The event was held in its traditional setting of the Piazza Santa Croce, in the centre of Florence, which is where our construction machinery comes in.
Masses of sand was trucked into Santa Croce to form the playing/fighting surface, at which point a Case 721G wheeled loader and a Case TV450 compact track loader were used to spread it all around.
According to Fulvio Vangi, managing director of Vangi Srl, the local company tasked with the job, the machines made light work of it all. "Six hundred cubic metres of sand was brought to Santa Croce. Thirty trips were necessary,” he says. “But thanks to the two Case machines working in tandem, we were able to unload the trucks and spread the sand carefully in just two days”.
Another two days were then needed to clean the paved floor of Piazza Santa Croce after the match/fight, returning it to the state in which the city’s tourists expect to see it.