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In Italy, declarations of consent from communities and letters of support from NGOs and Institutions were collected since 2017. All the communities of the Tocatì Italian network participated actively and were involved in the multinational nomination process and preparation since 2016. Declarations of consent have been written by CGIs, groups of practitioners of TGS involved in the Tocatì network, protagonists with AGA of the nomination process and committed in the dissemination of good safeguarding practices.
Communities are supported in their efforts by NGOs, Universities, local, regional and national Institutions, which provided letters of support to the nomination:

Italian National NGOs
UNPLI – Unione Nazione Pro Loco d’Italia
MIMAP – Associazione per la conservazione delle tradizioni popolari-Palermo
Associazione Sant’Antuono & Le Battuglie di Pastellesse, Macerata Campania CE
SIMBDEA – Società Italiana per la Museografia e i Beni DEA, c/o Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino, Palermo
Associazione Italiana Beni Patrimonio Mondiale
Associazione Giovani UNESCO
Cattedra Antropologia Culturale Università degli Studi di Chieti-Pescara
Unesco chair “Paesaggi Culturali del Mediterraneo e Comunità di Saperi” – Università degli Studi della Basilicata
Università di Verona

Local and Regional Administrations
Municipality of Verona
Municipality of Rialto
Municipality of Ollolai
Municipality of Mel
Municipality of Novara di Sicilia
Municipality of Mede
Municipality of Pienza
Municipality of Urbino
Region of Veneto
Regional Office for Instruction (USR) of the region of Veneto
Lombardy Region

Declarations of consensus from the
National Network of Playful Communities

The Friends of Bàla Créela formally establish their association in 2019 and immediately work with great enthusiasm to make their game known: they buy little balls to play with, t-shirts for team members and create a photo album of the players. A twinning with the Pantalera of Piedmont, which was met in Verona on the occasion of the XVII edition of Tocatì, has given further strength to the group that is committed to transmit the ball game of the Bàla and its memory to the new generations.

“For us the Tocatì programme was like the spring of a music box. We hope that this candidacy can be successful and that the Tocatì will be registered in the UNESCO Register of Good Practices, for the sake of future generations.”

Associazione Amici della Bàla Creèla
Gianico, Val Camonica, Brescia, Lombardia.
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The Battuglie di Pastellessa have been participating for many years in the Tocatì festival with the game of the Soap Pole and with the musical performances of the Bottari of Macerata Campania. The best-known festive event where we can meet them is the annual ‘A Festa’ E Santantuono: a moment of leisure and aggregation for the whole community, which invariably participates in large numbers. On this occasion, traditional games and music have always been recognised as expressions of the cultural heritage of the area.

“UNESCO, since its beginnings, has contributed to preserving peace through awareness and respect for the culture of others. The Tocatì programme, fully reflecting the principles and objectives of the 2003 UNESCO Convention, represents for us a good safeguarding practice to be applied as a model in the communities”

Associazione Sant’Antuono & le Battuglie di Pastellessa
Macerata Campania, Caserta, Campania.
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The ludic community of the Bijè is made up of a group of players of all ages engaged in the transmission of the game of skittles as an instrument of peaceful coexistence and sharing between cultures. Aware of the cultural and historical role of their game, the women of the skittles of Farigliano are committed all year to making Bijè known, both during the main event of the town La Festa del Bun Vin, and within the Tocatì Festival. A game that physically requires capacity, aim and skill but which, at the same time, is recognised of great social importance.

“The Bijè game is a female game. The merit of the women of the Community of the game of Bijè is not only that of having preserved the game of skittles over the millennia, maintaining figures, forms and gestures of ancient rites, but of having brought it into everyday life as an example of rebellion and affirmation against the male power.”

Associazione Birilli di Farigliano – Gioco delle Bijé
Farigliano, Cuneo, Piemonte.
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The Bardolino Nautical Centre promotes the tradition of standing rowing on Bissa, a traditional boat on Lake Garda. Since 2018 Lega Bisse has actively participated in AGA’s initiatives and in 2019 participates for the first time in Tocatì with an all-female delegation. Rowing in Bissa represents for this community a trait d’union with its fishing roots and a tangible manifestation of the intimate bond of the inhabitants with the territory and with the lake.

“UNESCO is for us the highest emblem of how the promotion and Safeguard of cultural diversity, the enhancement of traditions and their dignity, reveal to us that humanity is one and only, united by the desire to share and peace. The Tocatì programme is an opportunity to share our experience and spread our tradition, with the aim of keeping our discipline alive but above all with the aim of transmitting the passion that animates us to the new generations: rowers men and rowers women of tomorrow.”

Centro Nautico Bardolino, Lega Bisse del Garda
Bardolino, Verona, Veneto.
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The game of Cacio al Fuso di Pienza takes place every year on the occasion of the Cacio Fair in Piazza Pio II, which has always been the beating heart of the city and the place where the community gathers to celebrate their rites. The game, formerly practiced in the farmyards and in the squares, consists in rolling a wheel of aged cheese towards the centre of a target indicated by a spindle stuck in the ground. The playing tool, the cacio, represents the link with the local products and evokes the ancient custom of the shepherds to test the maturation of the cheeses, which, over time, have become a game.

“We hope that this candidacy is successful and that Tocatì will be registered in the UNESCO Register of Good Practices, for the benefit of future generations. Because for us, UNESCO means just that.”

Pro Loco Pienza
Pienza, Val d’Orcia, Siena.
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The game of the Hut (capanna) owes its name to the way of indicating the best shot a player can do by throwing a form of panforte on a table, pushing it as far as possible without dropping it. Panforte, the true protagonist of the game, is a Tuscan cake with very ancient origins, which requires beating before being consumed: hence the origin of the Capanna, which involves more than 120 players every year during the Christmas period in a challenge in the taverns of the village.

“The Tocatì programme is a unique experience for us. Seeing so many players playing ancient and different games is truly thrilling. Participating in the Tocatì Festival also represents a moment of spreading our game and the rediscovery of old traditions that risk getting lost in the new generations.”

Gruppo Gioco della Capanna
Santa Fiora, Grosseto, Siena.

The Fiö and Fiulät d’lä lippä took part in Tocatì with the game of the Ciaraméla since its first edition and for many years have taken part in the initiatives of the Tocatì programme at national and international level. The Ciäraméla game is a stick game transmitted from generation to generation which consists of throwing a smaller piece of wood as far as possible, hitting it with a stick. Worldwide there are many variations of this game and this makes the Ciäraméla, and more generally the Lippa, an instrument of dialogue between cultures.

“Participation in the Festival and in the Tocatì programme allowed us to establish relationships of friendship, cultural and playful exchange with other communities, but above all it has made us mature to make a consolidated reality evolve, transmitting the spirit of the game of lippa. from generation to generation”.

Associazione Fiö e Fiulät d’lä lippä
Mede, Pavia, Lombardia.
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The Corsa con la Cannata is a race reserved exclusively for young women that takes place every year on the occasion of the Arpino Banner. The players compete in speed holding the Cannata on their heads, a terracotta container filled with water that can weigh up to 15 kg. This terracotta amphora is a symbol of the bond with the Ciociaria area and is worn on the head by 7 young competitors dressed in traditional costumes. This community attended the Tocatì festival for many years and is committed to AGA all year round to safeguard traditional games.

“Our game is a glue for our community, it divides us for a few days but unites us for the rest of the year, all in the name of protecting our ancient traditions. Participating in the Tocatì programme is for us a point of reference and a comparison of ideas with other communities, it makes us even more proud of the witness we carry forward for the new generations.”

Associazione Pro Loco Arpino
Arpino, Frosinone, Lazio.
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The FENT – Federachon Esport Nohtra Tera federation protects, promotes and researches traditional Aosta Valley games and sports such as Fiolet, Palet, Rebatta, Tsan and Moura. He has been participating in the Tocatì festival for many years, alternating the presence of these practices to make them known outside his own territory, where they are promoted and enhanced throughout the year.

“Our games are for our community a cultural phenomenon rooted in local tradition that has found fertile ground to assert itself despite the profound changes that have occurred in the social fabric and the multiple stresses of a rapidly evolving world. The Tocatì program is a great opportunity for us to confront and pursue cultural exchange projects with the common goal of promoting the value of traditional games and making them known to new generations.”

FENT – Federachon Esport Nohtra Tera
Valle d’Aosta
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The Monterosso community of the Gioco delle Noci has been committed for many years to recover and promote the traditional games of the Cinque Terre village of Monterosso al Mare, with particular regard to the Gioco delle Noci. The Cinque Terre Tourist Consortium Association immediately adhered with conviction to the Verona Protocol of AGA, considering it a valid tool for safeguarding traditional gaming and sport. For the Gioco delle Noci community, Associazione Giochi Antichi represents an institutional framework that can support and promote the initiatives spontaneously carried by the players of the village.

“The repeated participation of Monterosso in the Veronese event of Tocatì allowed the contact with a wider level on a national and international scale, reinforcing the conviction that what was carried out represents something essential and indispensable.”

Associazione Consorzio Turistico 5 Terre
Monterosso al Mare, La Spezia, Liguria.
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The Olimpia Sports Club has participated for many years in the Tocatì Festival and in the initiatives promoted by AGA during the year to promote the preservation of the traditional game of throwing the Maiorchino. This game is played in male and female teams and consists in throwing a wheel of seasoned cheese along the streets of Novara di Sicilia with the aim of getting at the finish line first, known as sarvaù.

“For our community, playing is a moment of socialization and belonging to the territory: it is not the cult of the past but the sense of continuity and the sacred importance of what is permanent as well as the only immortality accessible to history.”

Associazione Circolo Olimpia
Novara di Sicilia, Messina, Sicilia.
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The community of Morra di Barbariga has been registered with CONI since 2005 and has 119 players. To make known the game of Morra, which consists in guessing the sum of the numbers that are shown simultaneously with the fingers by the players, the ASD Compagnia della Morra participated in the Tocatì festival in 2019. The aim today is to return to the squares to make this game known again, banned from public places in twenty years and still penalised by the regulations. The morra is now practiced in festive contexts and introduced in schools, due to its great relevance to the teaching of algebra.

“The enthusiasm given to us by participating in Tocatì 2019 has given us the strength and the desire to continue to offer the Gioco della Morra in our area, to accompany young people to rediscover and practice this ancient game.”

ASD Compagnia della Morra
Barbariga, Brescia, Lombardia.
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The Association Palla Eh! from Ciciano has participated in the activities of the national network of AGA since the first meetings in 2002 and has taken part in the Tocatì festival for several editions. Popular game of Roman origins, the game of the Palla Eh! it has always been practiced in the streets of the village: two teams of five players each compete by throwing a hand-sewn ball with their hands. The shout “Eh!”, made by the sender before throwing the ball, gives the name to the game. The practice is concentrated between July and September and has as protagonists players of all ages and cultures, coming from six municipalities in the province of Grosseto. Through this game, the Palla Eh! it brings small villages back to play, which risk being forgotten or suffocated by the presence of cars and bans, promoting the inclusion of new inhabitants and social cohesion.

“The Tocatì programme is an opportunity for us to interact with other communities and to create play networks, essential for strengthening the possibilities of protecting, safeguarding and promoting the game.”

Associazione Palla Eh!
Ciciano, Grosseto, Toscana.
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The Ente Disfida del Bracciale is a cultural association committed to safeguarding the practice of the Pallone col Bracciale (Ball with the Bracelet). The game consists of a team challenge that sees men and women facing each other throwing a ball, hit hard with a pointed wooden bracelet. The institution has adhered to the activities promoted by AGA since its inception in 2002, considering the association’s work to be invaluable in promoting awareness of gaming as an expression of the cultural heritage of a community.

“Being recognised by UNESCO for us would not only be the icing on the cake, but also the beginning of a new path based on greater Safeguard and greater recognition, which would allow all traditional games to be further enhanced in their role not only ludic, but above all cultural, aggregative and social.”

Ente Disfida del Bracciale
Treia, Macerata, Marche.
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The Elastic Ball Pantalera is a game deeply rooted in the Piedmontese and Ligurian rural tradition. An ancient variant of Pallapugno, the Pantalera is a game widely played in the squares of the villages of the Langa, Roero, Monferrato and the Ligurian hinterland. These territories challenge each other every year to the “gioco del balôn” in an Italian championship that involves over 30 villages in the territory. The activity in the square, spontaneous and of popular origin, actively involves the inhabitants, maintaining the parochial spirit, of communion and socialisation. A demonstration? The participation, in 2019, of the Brescia recreational community of Bala Créela, known on the occasion of the 17th edition of Tocatì, was welcomed with great conviviality.

“A big thank you goes to the AGA which has taken steps to promote events with a high social and cultural impact such as Tocatì. Our association firmly signed the Verona Protocol in 2018 and systematically participates in the initiative “Tocatì a shared heritage. Days of the immaterial.”

ASD – APEP “Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Pallone Elastico alla Pantalera”
Langhe, Piemonte, Liguria.
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The Cooperativa l’Innesto is actively involved in safeguarding the traditional game of Pirlì, an ancestor of pinball machines, and has been collaborating continuously with Associazione Giochi Antichi since 2002: it has contributed to the drafting of the AGA Manifesto and to the establishment of a national network of Italian ludic communities. Among the leading communities of the first editions of Tocatì, the Cooperative has simultaneously promoted, through the practice of the Pirlì game, the sense of belonging to the Val Cavallina territory and the sharing of important universal values ​​through play. Thanks to a European project, in collaboration with AGA, it has created a theme park called La Valle in Gioco.

“Every year thousands of students of all levels visit the park and approach the games with enthusiasm, amazement and joy, bringing within the awareness that playing means collective fun that lives on the personal contribution of each one: the game allows children participants to nurture self-help, the joy of encounter and confrontation, and peace.”

Cooperativa Sociale l’Innesto
Gaverina Terme, Bergamo, Lombardia.
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The game of Rouotta is a game of bowls that takes place every year on December 26th, outdoors, whatever the weather conditions. Snow or rain does not prevent players of all ages from competing on the street, in the mule tracks or along the municipal roads. The Pro Loco of Lillianes attended Tocatì in 2008, 2013 and 2019, where it introduced the practice of Rouotta thanks also to the participation of a large number of young people from the village.

“During the past editions in Verona we found an atmosphere of communion that made us feel at home. We had the opportunity to create group memories that we will always carry with us, thanks to AGA which always knows how to welcome the communities hosted in an impeccable way. We also participate in the initiative “The Days of the Immaterial”, a strong moment of exchange, mutual knowledge and awareness”.

Pro Loco Lillianes
Lillianes, Aosta, Valle d’Aosta.
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The Oltrefossa Association has been participating in the Tocatì festival for many years to raise awareness of the traditional game of Sbürla la Rôda, a practice that consists in pushing a straw bale as fast as possible, in teams, along a predetermined path. The game instrument strongly refers to the origins of this playful activity, which recalls the wheels of the once numerous floating mills along the river Po, with its banks, woodlands, poplars and parish churches. Together with AGA, the Oltrefossa Association has been collaborating for years to build a local context that is attentive to the safeguard of Traditional Games and Sports as a tool for promoting social relations and community life. The Fossacaprara Festival, the main event for the Sbürla community, is an important identity moment linked to play, traditional cuisine and being together.

“The Tocatì programme is a unique opportunity for us to get out of territorial isolation and weave new relationships with other ludic communities that share the same needs and objectives. Thanks to Tocatì, in recent years we have made friends with the community of Cacio al Fuso di Pienza (SI), the Trampolisti of Schieti (PU), the Fiö della Lippa di Mede (PV) and since we met, we have invited them to our festival with their games.”

Associazione Oltrefossa
Fossacaprara, Cremona, Lombardia.
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The S-cianco, the shorter of the two tools with which this stick game is played, is known in Italian by the name of lippa. The game has very ancient origins and there are some testimonies at the Petrie Museum in London, which houses some findings dating back to the XI / XII dynasty that have been catalogued as lippe. The game is widely practiced in many areas of Europe, North Africa and Asia, such as Spain, France, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, India, Sri Lanka and in Italy it is played in many regions, with different denominations from time to time: Rella in Milan, Nizza in Rome, Mazza e pivezo in Naples, Ciärämèla in Pavia. Its diffusion allows this game to be a perfect tool for international dialogue and cooperation.

“Surely the most important goal achieved by the association is to give a shape to this community, which saw teams of all types and compositions participate: from those coming from the Lessinia mountains, to others composed exclusively of players or by children of Sri Lankan, who every year find themselves competing, proposing a territorial culture that would otherwise be difficult to transmit in the urban centres of the province.”

Associazione Giochi Antichi
Verona, Verona.
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The ancient Sardinian struggle of S’Istrumpa has very ancient roots dating back to the Nuragic period and recalls the traditional Celtic struggles. S’Istrumpa was born with strong references to the pastoral and rural tradition. It is practiced by shepherds during sheep shearing, wheat harvesting and village festivals. In the 60s and 70s it was filmed during conscription visits for military recruitment. Recognised as a strong element of identity and aggregation, the S’Istrumpa fight is promoted and transmitted by passionate wrestlers in local initiatives, in schools and, assiduously, at the Tocatì festival.

“We have been enthusiastically participating in the Tocatì Festival for many years and we believe that our presence is among the most assiduous and rewarding, it is a moment of encounter with the many ludic communities present, it is a moment of aggregation. The Tocatì Festival is a very important occasion for us, it is a showcase that opens up to the world of traditional games. Above all, we consider the work that Tocatì carries out as a ‘community of communities’ to be very important.”

Federazione S’Istrumpa
Ollolai, Nuoro, Sardegna.
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The Gioco dello Stù is a game of cards and luck played during the Christmas period in Montorio al Vomano, Abruzzo. The game, simple and intuitive, is played by players of all ages in public spaces such as bars and taverns. Playing Stù favours the sense of community, aggregation and being together. Thanks to a few simple rules, playing time is inclusive, characterised by student spirit and light-heartedness.

“Becoming part of the Tocatì “family” was a coveted goal for us. Collaborating for its recognition by UNESCO is fundamental since the cultural heritage includes not only monuments and collections of objects, but also all the living traditions transmitted by our ancestors, the maintenance of which is essential in a world that is heading towards globalization.”

Associazione il Colle e il Solleone
Montorio al Vomano, Teramo, Abruzzo.
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The spherical game of Tò Vegna in Farra di Mel, a village in the province of Belluno of 400 souls, is transmitted to the new generations thanks to the strong bond with the traditions felt by the inhabitants. Players of all ages continue to play this game with joy and lightheartedness outdoors, in the streets of the village, reflecting the social and historical importance that this practice has for the community.

“Our participation in Tocatì has opened new horizons for us, introduced other communities and made us feel less alone and more aware of the social and historical importance of the game”.

CRAL Ferrarese
Farra di Mel, Belluno, Veneto.
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For years, the Torri Umane (Human Towers) Association has been involved in the recovery and safeguarding of the practice of Human Towers, concretely engaging in the transmission of this ritual. Initially religious, the practice later took on a political connotation and established itself as a symbol of social balance between classes. The association has participated in Tocatì for several years and, thanks to the activities promoted by AGA, has met various traditional gaming communities at national and international level, promoting the exchange and comparison between playful practices.

“The participation of the Association in the various initiatives of Tocatì has allowed us to make contact with a wider level on a national and international scale, strengthening the conviction that our game and our traditions represent something relevant and indispensable. Our commitment goes in the direction of ever greater coordination with the experiences of other communities, in line with the vocation and growing commitment of the Tocatì programme. Knowing and participating in the traditions of others allows us to feel part of something more complex, of an ever wider and more powerful movement to safeguard our common heritage.”

Associazione Torri Umane
Irsina, Potenza, Basilicata.
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The Waders of Schieti hand down the traditional custom of going on stilts: once used to cross the marshy areas, they are now the protagonists of the Palio dei Trampoli, a heartfelt and participatory event that takes place every year in Urbino. The Waders of Schieti collaborate in the activities proposed by AGA to raise awareness and promote this game since 2007. Once a means of transport for farmers and miners, stilts were used to ford the river and reach the workplace, while in more recent have been taken to compete in outdoor summer competitions in the medieval village of Schieti. This playful practice was at the Tocatì festival in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2017 and 2021. In 2008 and 2015 it was AGA, on the other hand, who reached the Marches to raise awareness among the community on the importance of traditions related to gaming.

“For our community, play is a moment of socialization and belonging to our own territory. Unesco is for us the opportunity to make known this ancient and magnificent tradition, deeply felt by the inhabitants of our ludic community. It is a source of pride.”

Centro Socio culturale Don Italo Mancini
Schieti, Urbino, Marche.
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The game of Trucco da Terra, once practiced daily throughout the Ligurian territory, is now played mainly in Rialto, a rural and wooded village located in the hinterland of the province of Savona, in precious moments of meeting and sharing between men and women players belonging to different generations. Made up of a wooden paddle, coloured bowls and iron circles embedded in the ground, the Trucco is played with a few simple rules, especially in the summer.

“Our community fully shares the intentions of the Tocatì programme which was an opportunity for us to search for the historical origins of our game and gave us the opportunity to make it known, thus keeping the tradition alive. The added value of participating in the Tocatì festival was the meeting and the opportunity to exchange with other Italian and international gaming communities.”

A.S.D. Polisportiva Rialtese
Rialto, Savona, Liguria.
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The Faenza Festivals and Fairs Committee has been participating for many years in the programme and in the Tocatì festival with the Romagna game of Zachegn, similar to bowls, whose playing tools are however made of stone tiles. During the year, the game is offered in schools, popular festivals, parishes and cultural clubs in the area. Its strength is simplicity, which allows it to transmit a popular pastime with distant origins that today involves players of all cultures and ages.

“The Tocatì programme is for us a moment in which to compare ourselves with other playful communities on the strategies and methods that allow us to continue working on the dissemination of Traditional Game and Sport. We recognize UNESCO as the world institution that can continue to promote peace and coexistence between different peoples through education, culture, communication and information. Promoting respect and defending freedoms is also fundamental by safeguarding moments of true communion such as play and sport.”

Comitato Feste e Sagre di Faenza
Faenza, Ravenna, Emilia Romagna.
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