Tocatì International Festival Brings Thousands Together in Celebration of Play

25 July 2014

More than 300,000 people from around the globe will come together in a celebration of play during the 12th annual Tocatì International Festival of Street Games, to be held in Verona, Italy on 18-21 September 2014.

Organized by the Associazione Giochi Antichi (Ancient Games Association) in collaboration with the Municipality of Verona, this year’s Tocatì — which means “your turn” in Veronese dialect — will feature 40 traditional games from various Italian regions as well as Mexico, the 2014 country of honor.

For three days, Mexican players will bring their ancestral games, rituals, music and dance to the streets and squares of Verona’s historic center. Visitors will be encouraged to observe or join in playing Pelota P'urépecha (throwing a flaming ball with 2-meter-long clubs), Juego de Corozo (a ball game in which a Corozo palm leaf is used as a mallet), Pelota Mixteca de Hule (a version of baseball played with a 6-kilo leather glove), Trompo (the unpredictable Mexican spinning top), Pitarra (a board game similar to tic tac toe), and more.

In addition the repertoire of games, the event will also highlight Italian and Mexican musical concerts, dance performances, parades and exhibitions, as well as talks with cultural figures, including the Mexican author Pine Cacucci, Mexican illustrator Gabriel Pacheco, and Italian pianist Antonia Ballista.

Numerous play-related associations and institutions will be on-site to organize children’s game workshops, and attendees are invited to meet with experts on the history of traditional games in the Games Culture Forum. In the Tocatì Kitchen area, festival-goers will have an opportunity to samples Italian and Mexican wines and specialty foods.

Admission to Tocatì is free. For more information, visit

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