Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bocce - An Italian Pastime

One of my favorite memories from my high school Italian class were days when we played bocce as a reward for our hard work. I heard about the game growing up, but never learned the rules. After re-discovering this long-standing Italian pastime, my family ended up purchasing a bocce kit.

Commonly played in Italian American communities and popular with older audiences, bocce is a game anyone can enjoy. Derived from ancient Roman games, it is played with miniature bowling balls, and a smaller ball called a pallino. Game lengths differ, but the basic rules are as follow:

  • Form two teams. 
  • Determine which team is going to throw the pallino to the center of the court. 
  • The team that successfully throws the pallino bowls first, then the opposing team. 
  • The goal is to get as many balls close as possible to the pallino, points accrue each time a player successfully bowls. 
  • The team with the most balls closest to the pallino win!


I did not have the opportunity to play bocce during my study abroad experience, but it is a way you can bring a piece of Italy into your life if you are unable to take a vacation. Bocce is a fantastic summer game, I look forward to playing when the weather gets better! Until then, there are also a few mobile game apps for practice. 



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