I couldn’t let such a misunderstanding persist and call myself a proud Italian-American. I felt a strong need to pass on the knowledge of a game that is part of our heritage. As a child, I grew up in a predominantly Italian neighborhood. My family bought fresh raviolis and Italian bread on Sundays, we pronounced mozzarella like “muts-ah-DELL”, and we knew all the curse words in Italian.
As I get older, I feel myself losing touch with that heritage. I am ashamed to admit I buy tomato sauce in a jar and rarely use Italian words (especially curses) in front of my children.
It was a beautiful afternoon when we played, and the kids were excited to go to the park. They played on the playground for a while before they were ready to play the game.
The rules are pretty easy. One person throws the pallino (small ball) down the court. Then two teams attempt to throw their bocce balls as close to the pallino as possible. The team who has a ball closest to the pallino is the winner. Both kids noticed it is a lot like bowling with a fun twist. Players can knock the other team’s ball out of the way. There may be other rules involved, but I taught the kids the way I learned to play.
We played three rounds and had a lot of fun. I know we’ll definitely play again the next time we visit the park with the bocce courts.
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