Playing in Boboli. Ancient and traditional Tuscan games in the Grand Duke's garden


Playing in Boboli is an event occurred in the Boboli Garden on Sunday 11th September, the last day of the exhibit "Jesters, peasants and players at the Medici court".

The event draws inspiration from some statues of the Garden representing people playing ancient games of the popular tradition. 

During the whole day the "Island Basin" housed a revival of the ancient pastimes which had amused Florentine people for centuries: Pentolaccia, Saccomazzone and Pallottole, old card games like Germini and Minchiate, table games related to the history of Florence, and live performances of Flag-wavers and Musicians. 

The event was organized by the Uffizi Galleries in collaboration with “ProGioco Firenze” Assocation under the patronage of the Municipality of Florence.  

Specifically, the games visitors played were: 

  1. Table games related to the history of Florence (Signorie, Citadel, Carcassone, Florenza, Leonardo, Medici, Girafirenze).
  2. The Germini, or the game of the Florentine Minchiate (card game similar to "The Tarot" invented around the mid-15th century).
  3. Game of Civetta or Civettino.
  4. "Dwarfs at Court", photoset.
  5. "Kids' Makeup at Court", Medici-style face makeup for kids.
  6. "Portraitist at Court", for extemporaneous Medici-style portraits.
  7. Game of Pallottole, the ancient game of bowls.
  8. Wooden toy typical of the traditional Florentine craftsmanship.
  9. Game of Pentolaccia.  
  10. Game of Saccomazzone.
  11. Card game with bets called “The Yellow Dwarf”.
  12. Dice game with bets called “Ludus Azar”.
  13. Flag-wavers of the Signoria of Florence.