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Street Games

(edited by Francesco Deplanu)

The Ruzzolone

The "Ruzzolone" is a popular game much followed by Umbertine until a few decades ago, its origins seem ancient, practiced throughout Italy as "tumbles" or "ruzzica" some author makes it descend from classical antiquity with the passage then to Etruscan world seeing in the iconography of the "discus thrower" or "thrower" in the tomb of the Necropolis of the Monterozzi di Tarquinia because of the launching position that does not conform to the classic iconography of the thrower.


However, news about popular games is rare, with the revival of the interests of the traditions of the Volk in the romantic period the search for information began. In Umbria, in Perugia, according to what prof. Sciurpa in his "blogspot", quoted in the sources, the news comes mainly from the official news aimed above all at delimiting its use. 

IL RUZZOLONE 2Storiche archivio Bellucci

Launch of the tumbler

It was played on feast days, dressed in good clothes, from the Easter period onwards.  The Ruzzolone could be a form of aged and very hardened cheese or in wood, often of rowan according to what prof. Sciurpa  . It had a diameter of about 30-40 cm and could weigh from 2 to 5 kg. It was launched thanks to a rolled tape that ended with a wooden spool. It was launched with force and so the "tumbler" could cover more or less long paths; we started again from where the “tumbles” stopped, we played in pairs or one against one.

IL RUZZOLONE 1938Storiche archivio Bellu

It was played in pairs

Games of the twentieth century

Costa Muro

"Costa Muro or" Touch the wall "to play before the war we went to  Tiber, it went down after the  porta di "caminella", at the end of Piazza di San Francesco to reach the "schioppe" on the banks of the Tiber to search  The tiles". The "tiles" were river stones smoothed by the flow of water, and they had to be sought "even", that is to say similar and beautiful. It was played one on one then on the walls of the house, whoever came closest won those of the others. In the 1960s and 1970s, the "figurines" of the players replaced the stones.

Wall Ball

A "Wall ball" was played by drawing a circle with chalk on the wall, with the ball then the drawing had to be centered. Those who did not take us had a "penance" to pay.  


In "Castelletto" they played with glass balls (marbles) or more often, because they were less expensive  with balls  from  shard, usually brown in color. They had to be put together next to each other   in number  enough to make the "plan"  (3-4-5 floors) above and then build another series on top. The "castelletto" became a kind of "skittle" (up to 6 castles in a row) to hit  with the "tick" of other marbles or balls.

Greasy tree

At the "tree of the cuccagna" they played on the plants of the Tiber by attacking on the branches  the discarded jute bags  from the "Consortium". Jute sacks tied together  with the “vetriche”, very elastic branches of plants that were born on the Tiber; inside were put stones, flour, pieces of mixed cake. The bags were prepared by all the "players" together but then they were placed  on the tree only by some, the others remained blindfolded, the game happened  in the areas of "Schioppe" or al  "Patollo".  





- oral source: Imperia Guardabassi

- Photo: historical photos of Umbertide from the web and from various private archives  to which  we applied the " umbertidestoria " watermark  in this way we try to avoid that the further disclosure on our part favors purposes not consonant with our intentions exclusively  social and cultural.

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