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Demonstrations of Historical Sports in Rome 1960

In Italy at the time of the Rome Olympic Games in 1960, there were demonstrations of five historical sporting events organized by the Italian State Tourist Office (Ente Nazionale Industrie Turistiche); a Florentine Football Match (Calcio Fiorentino), the Game of the Pisa Bridge, a Crossbowmen's Tournament, the Ascoli Piceno Quintain Tilting, and the Foligno Quintain Tilting.

A crowd of over twenty-five thousand spectators watched the Crossbowmen's Tournament, which took place in the floodlit Circus Maximus on the night of 20th August. The contest was held between 400 costumed participants representing the cities of Gubbio and San Sepolcro.

The following day, also at Circus Maximus, forty thousand spectators witnessed the Foligno Quintain Tilting, with about six hundred participants who included knights, pages and esquires, halbardiers, trumpeters, and drummers. Quintain is a solo version of jousting, in which the rider attempts to hit a stationary object with their lance.

On the 28th August, a Florentine Football Match was played in the Piazza di Siena, an arena in Rome. Also known as Calcio Fiorentino, it is an early form of football that was developed in 16th century Italy, known to be a bloody, violent competition.

The Florentine Football Match played in the Piazza di SienaThe Florentine Football Match played in the Piazza di Siena (from the Official Report of the 1960 Olympic Games, v.1, p311)

Another quintain event, the famous Ascoli Piceno Quintain, was held on 4th September in Circus Maximus, in front of a large crowd of forty thousand spectators. This was the reenactment of a knightly tournament that dates back to 1387. In the Ascoli Piceno Quintain the rider attempts to put his lance through a suspended ring. The spectacle involved nine hundred people representing the population of the various quarters, with their own banners, consuls, ladies and maids-of-honour, pages, jousting knights, armigers and halbardiers.

On the 10th September in Circus Maximus there was a demonstration of the ancient Game of the Pisa Bridge, which dates back to 1490 in the city of Pisa. Two factions, from the North and South of the River Arno, undertake a tug-of-war type battle to take control of the central Ponte di Mezzo, one of the bridges that cross the Arno river.

source: Official Report of the 1960 Olympic Games, v.1

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