Piastre o Bocce

 When it comes to Italy, traditions tend to have seriously ancient origins. The game of piastre, or plates, was in fact typical of the Roman Imperial soldiers, who spread it all over the world. 

Today it is played in a very few communities in the regions of Emilia Romagna, Friuli, Molise and Valle d’Aosta, mostly because everywhere else it gave way to the similar but more “modern” game of bocce (also known with its French name of ‘petanques’). The two games are very similar: a smaller plate is thrown on an elongated play field to act as a reference point, then two players alternate throwing colored plates as close as possible to it. They can try to cover each other’s plates, or to hit the adversaries’ in order to send them away from the goal. The heavy round balls used in bocce are obviously much better for this striking hits, but they cannot be used on sloping terrains, grass or rocks.