Our annual but much reduced festa took place yesterday and of course the batteries in my camera decided to give up the ghost on a Sunday when everything was closed.
We walked around in the evening and realised that most of our local bar regulars were there this year. They had turned up to see the winner of the scopa knockout competition collect his cup who, it turned out, was our friend Pasquale.
It is strange on this Sunday religious festival that as the churchgoers begin to file into the chapel another steady line of men file into what will become the dance area and sit down to play cards . Names are pooled and a draw done. Then begins 3 hours of intense knockout play until a final winner is declared. Players come from miles around to pit their skills and unofficially hard earned euros against others.
Scopa is described here so I won’t attempt to do it. Suffice to say that I thought initially it was a fairly simple game with with a large element of luck involved. However when you play a good player they wipe the table with you or brush you away ( scopa means brush). Pasquale only plays with good players as he finds it boring winning endless hands against a
players with no skill. The cards are very different as you can see and picture cards are worth eight, nine and ten in scopa as there are only 40 cards. By the time I have added them up realised I had used normal card values and then redone it in my mind most people I have played with are fast asleep on the other side of the table.
So at 11 p.m. he was presented with his cup at the end of the festa and just before the fireworks. As you can imagine he had been celebrating his victory since 1 p.m. and so 10 hours later his acceptance speech was a little confused. However our local now has a new champion and Rosa his wife has a bloody great silver cup to clean every week.
Did you know that Silvio Berlusconi our ex leader and colourful business man once worked as a crooner on board Italian cruise lines ? Not only that he writes the lyrics for songs to this day. His last collection of songs on an album released in 2009 reached number 50 in the Italian album charts. It seems that when Prime Minister he would, during boring meetings with various heads of state, burst into song to try and liven up the conversation. Can’t see ‘ just call me Dave’ the British P.M. doing likewise somehow.
Here is one of Silvio’s songs