‘You’re like a gladiator’: calcio storico players on the world’s most brutal game

Every year in Florence four teams of locals kick, punch and wrestle each other in an event that dates back to the 15th century. Why do they keep doing it?

The Connecticut garden that inspired American impressionist painters

Florence Griswold’s house and garden, now a museum, has barely changed since the turn of the 20th century when artists escaped here to paint outside, says the director of a new film on American impressionism

10 of the best ways to enjoy Florence … on a budget

Visit Florence’s famous museums and galleries for free, eat authentic Tuscan food in markets, and then head to a free film screening or dance performance

The Calcio Storico, the most brutal sport on earth – in pictures

The Calcio Storico – ‘historic football’ – is an ancient form of football from the 16th century, which originated from the ancient roman ‘harpastum’, and is played in teams of 27, using both feet and hands. Sucker-punches and kicks to the head are prohibited but headbutting, punching, elbowing, and choking are all allowed

The Oltrarno, Florence’s forgotten southbank, gets a tourism makeover

Long overlooked, its squares used as car parks, the area across the Arno river has been transformed by Florence’s mayor, who is determined to put it on the culture-hunter’s map

Top 10 pensions and guesthouses on a budget in Tuscany

For lovers of Tuscany, here are 10 places to stay that won’t break the bank. http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/jun/04/top-10-pensiones-guesthouses-budget-tuscany