Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Having a Ball

Whether you call it Bocce or Pétanque or kegeln (German version - Thanks Holger), there’s no question that the traditional game of choice by the Italians and French alike involve throwing metal balls around and trying to get closest to the jack. Go to any park in Southern France, or in areas around Italy and you see older men going at it on a 25 meter playing surface. Often you will find groups lined up next to each other, for the game that seems to be as much social as it is competition. It’s the European version of bowling, but instead of dating to the 50s, dates back to the Roman Empire. Therefore, you will find it anywhere you find Italians – and there are no shortage in the Northern-most Italian city, Munich. At some time in the early 1900s, the game was rebranded in France as Pétanque in Provence and has lived on in its own right. Today, you can find Bocce or Pétanque primarily in the Hofgarten of Munich. I was happy to see a whole new generation of players, between the age of 20-30, bringing new life to the competition.

3 comments:

Holger said...

The german version of bowling is "kegeln".
I love your blog! Prepares me well for my move from Hamburg to Munich!

Moya said...

So why is it usually just men?

Holger said...

It's not usually just men. You can also see women playing.