The eleventh edition of Tocatì, the International Festival of Street Games, will focus on the Hungarian traditions and on Ferenc Molnár’s novel The Paul Street Boys. The festival is organized by Associazione Giochi Antichi (AGA) in collaboration with the Municipality of Verona-Culture Department. The event is held in the streets and squares of the Historical Centre for three from September 20 to 22. There will be about 40 traditional games coming from different Italian regions and from this year’s host country, Hungary. The games will be presented by a group of players, who came to share the ancient games of their territory and to narrate their habits and history. The traditional game is part of the heritage of humanity recognized by the Charter of International Games in 2003.
The audience will see and try traditional Hungarian games such as Grundbirkózás (Hungarian fight), Gombfoci (a sort of football table that initially was played with buttons), archery, stick fighting, Hungarian whip, and Csürközés ( a challenge in which the sticks are first thrown and then used to hinder the adversary).
Among the traditional Italian games there will be, Sicilian stick (Sicily), Bardunfa, the spinning top of Sardinia, Paga l’ost, a game of bowls typical of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sburla la roda, an athletic race with hay bales (Lombardy), Palla col bracciale (Tuscan), and three types of special skittles: Bbrigghja (Sicily), Is briglias (Sardinia), and e Stacchje (Puglia). There will also be table games such as carrom, chess, and checkers, and urban games, including Parkour, bike polo, frisbee, and for the first time at Tocatì, Slackline and Kendama. During the festival, Piazza dei Signori will become Piazza Ungheria (Hungary Square), where the audience will be able to discover attractions of Hungarian territories. Artists will interpret music, songs, and Hungarian dances of tzigana’s tradition.
Along Lungadige San Giorgio, another stage will receive the Italian music group. In the former church of St. Giorgetto (San Pietro Martire), there will be an exhibition dedicated to The Paul Street Boys. A literary marathon will take place at night and the audience can join in reading. During the Forum of cultura ludica (Cortile Mercato Vecchio), several speakers will alternate including, Italian and Hungarian players, academic experts in the history of traditions and traditional sports, and authors of books on the subject of games.
A large area will be dedicated to associations and institutions that deal with gaming as a profession (playrooms, Playbus, leaders, experts in museum education, etc). The national network of the city organizes a large area in Piazzetta Pescheria, where several Italian municipalities will show their activities to make their cities “Friends of Children.” Finally, along the Lungadige St. Giorgio, in the festival kitchens areas, visitors will taste wines and specialties of Verona and of the Hungarian gastronomy .
The games will be practiced every day for eight hours, and those who want to participate and learn the ancient rules and traditions will be welcomed by players who are ready to pass on their traditional knowledge.