Summer is almost over, and many Paesani are outside soaking up the last weeks of our “Italian American National Sport”… the beloved game of BOCCE!
For many, this simple lawn game is a staple of Italian American summer life, but for an increasing number of young people seeking out ways to engage and promote their Italian American heritage, bocce has become a “gateway tradition” of sorts… an inviting entry point back into the rhythms and rituals of Italian American life.
In this episode, we’re joined by a collection of young Italian American activists from northern New Jersey whose collective efforts rescued a long-neglected community Bocce Court from the wrecking ball, and now that they’ve turned an eyesore into an attraction, they’re setting out to spread the joy of the game far and wide.
These young leaders, from organizations like Unico and the Coccia Institute at Montclair State University, are united in their efforts to promote Italian American culture, and they’re sharing the traditions they feel their contemporaries relate to, like another “gateway tradition”: jarring tomatoes.
And, one amongst them, a very special voice from NIAF (and an often referenced character here on the Italian American Podcast) will explore why everyone… from Congress to college campuses… seems to unite for the love of bocce!