Tag Archives: palla 21

Palla a 21 ball construction course in Torniella: how did it go

In a nutshell, between 3.15 and 6.30PM on Saturday, June 17, we recorded:

  • Two new ball makers: Valentina and Amos (who drove one hour from the plain to learn)
  • Old-time makers back on the scene: Claudio and Fabiano
  • Thinking about it: Andrea L.
  • Enticed folk: several people (kids, teens, and adults), including many from Torniella or Piloni who had never seen a ball made (while they very often see it played).
  • As a sidebar item, the reading of excerpts from an environmental impact assessment on the Farma River Barrage (1988)
  • Memories about the game of palla a 21, and other more or less related stories: a lot.
  • If you are interested to learn the fine art of making a ball, write to palla21@attivarti.org

The next event in the Farma Valley will be on Sunday, July 2, 2017 . If you are a tough MTB rider, you can compete for the 7° Farma Valley MTB trophy, or if you are in for a casual stroll, you can opt for the non-competitive ride which is attached to the race. (see articolo dedicato). Last, but not least, we will may see some updates for the Farma Valley Community Map.

Thanks again to Ilo Ferrandi, our tutor.

…meanwhile, the training for the July-August tournaments is progressing…


(click on the image to see more detail)

Saturday, June 17: palla a 21 ball construction course in Torniella (Southern Tuscany)

As a part of the celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the mission which brought to Chicago, Illinois, the ancient game of palla a 21 (or palla eh!)  Attivarti.org in collaboration with  pibinko.org is organizing its first ball construction course.

The course will be held in the music room (first floor) of the Torniella Philarmonic Society centre in Torniella, from 3PM to 6PM of Saturday, June 17, 2017. The tutor will be Ilo Ferrandi, one of the few active ball makers today.

To participate you must register by sendin an e-mail to palla21@attivarti.org.  Admission to the course is free, but it will be possible (and appreciated) if you will contribute with a donation to support the calendar of events and initiatives by pibinko.org/Attivarti.org, dedicated to the promotion and protection of lesser known assets in the fields of culture, environment, and open innovation.

The course will have some theory, concerning the history of the ball, and a review of materials, tools and procedures to build it. A hands-on part will then follow, with Ilo Ferrandi helping the participants to create their own ball. At the end of the course an “aperitivo” will be in the air, and if the weather is nice you may actually try to play, possibly getting some tutoring by one of the palla a 21 players, who are just starting their training, with the traditional palla a 21/palla eh! tournaments coming up from mid-July.


The palla a 21 ball

The ball used in the game of “palla a 21” (or “palla eh!” (see some photo coverage of the 2016 tournaments), is made by hand, following the process illustrated by Ilo Ferrandi in this video.
To date we know of four “palla makers”: Massimo Signori “the Boss” from Tirli, Eraldo Panti aka Calimero from Ciciano, Fabio Massellucci aka Fabione from Scalvaia (who had to reduce his production) and, Ilo Ferrandi from Torniella.
Each of them has his own variants, and his research on construction techniques and materials. If you know more palla makers, let us know.

For more information on the game of palla a 21/palla eh!…check out this page.

Palla 21 (or palla eh) tournament in Vetulonia, where you can catch the sea breeze

Marinated anchovy sandwich with palla player in the background, somewhere over the rainbow

On August 29 and 30 the palla 21/eh! closes its round of 2015 in Vetulonia, a hamlet in the hills above Castiglione della Pescaia, in Southern Tuscany.
After this, there will be a last set to be played in order to close the Torniella tournament, which had to be interrupted on August 9 due to impending darkness (the matches ended up being extremely long, thus reaching the end of the day)

In Vetulonia we have, out of the six tournaments played during the Summer, the most Etruscan (the area is loaded with ruins, tombs, and the village itself has very ancient walls), the most maritime (walking out of the square where the games is played you may contemplate the beautiful coastline).
Last but not least, as far as I recall, Vetulonia is the tournament where I ate the best marinated anchovy sandwich to date…in 2008 (or maybe was it a very good Summer, so everyhting was good?).

For business reasons I don’t know if it will be possible for me to attend both days of the tournament. But, if you haven’t made it yet, or you did and you liked it, you should check out the palla games in Vetulonia. Then we will have the Torniella “recovery” game on September 20 or 27, and then we will revert to “off-tournament” mode until next Spring.

So – see you there (more likely on Sunday, than Saturday, me thinks). If you want to meet there, make sure you drop a line to palla21@attivarti.org.

Paolo Neri from Scalvaia, serving in Vetulonia in 2013, when he used to have long hair