Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Did you know that 92 years ago today, on April 14, 1922 Florence created a sports club known as “ASSI” which stands for “Arno SocietĂ  Sportiva Italiana”, located only steps away from Piazzale Michelangelo. It grew from humble beginnings to become a cornerstone of the Florentine sports culture. And all because of a group of schoolboys!

Its grass-roots history dates back to the 1920’s when 18 young Florentine boys from Gavinana with a passion for soccer, provoked discussions within their parish, Santa Maria a Ricorsoli, to create a soccer field on a vacant parcel of landfill on the Viale Michelangelo. The useless landfill had been created when the Viale was constructed by Giuseppe Poggi, and was nicknamed by locals “The Gamberaia Pit”. After getting the green light, these boys dedicated months of physical labor to pave the way for a soccer field. Their dream was realized and a sports association was born.

The sports complex today comprises a soccer school, a golf school and a rugby school. A cross-disciplinary sports menu includes volleyball, running, tennis, and in the past has included table soccer, roller skating, hockey, wrestling, boxing, fencing and basketball. It also offers a diverse fitness program aimed at adult education for all levels including wellness, spinning, trekking and even guided museum visits.

By the end of its first year the club comprised 200 members, 2 soccer teams, and cycling, wrestling and boxing programs. Between 1929-1932, Marquese Luigi Ridolfi reorganized and expanded the complex in order to offer more extensive and competitive programs. Tennis and volleyball courts, an infirmary, saunas and a running circuit were added, although the soccer field was eliminated and eventually moved to the stadium at Campo di Marte.

Since then, ASSI has flourished to become a grand sports society, delivering brilliant results in all categories on both the local and national level.