Old School Italian Games
By: Liz Flynn
Like most countries, Italy has traditional games that have been passed from one generation to the next. Many of Italy’s games are still played and enjoyed today by both children and adults alike. Here are some of the traditional games of Italy.
Nearly every country that plays Foosball, or table football, lays claim to being the country that first invented the game and the Italians are no different. Although they may not actually have invented the game they call calcio balilla, they are the leading manufacturers of this game. It is for this reason that many consider this to be an Italian game. There is evidence to suggest that the Italians began playing this game at the end of World War I and it remains popular to this day.
Piastra o Bocce
The game of piastra, or plates, was played by the Roman soldiers. This makes it one of the oldest Italian games that is still played today. However, in many regions, many people now play a more modern version of this game called bocce. In piastra, the small plate is thrown the length of a long field and is used as a marker. Players then throw larger colored plates towards the marker with the aim of getting as close as possible. Bocce uses heavy balls instead of plates.
Calcio Storico Fiorentino
The Italians love soccer and this game is like a modern version of calcio storico Fiorentino, a Medieval form of football. The Medieval game actually more closely resembles rugby. Other than for the purposes of re-enactments, very few people play this game today. This is probably because of the high level of violence the game involves.
The Italian word ‘ruzzalore’ means ‘to roll’ and it is from this verb that the name of the game ‘ruzzalo’ derives. The basic concept of the game is for people to throw a round object as far as they can and the winner is the person who throws the object the furthest. To make the game more complicated, it is often played on steep terrain with the players hurling the object upwards.