Thanks, Mr Columbus

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, July 3, 1998

Go with me? Perhaps your family tree doesn't even have a leaf connected to the fellow from Genoa. But all Americans who celebrate the 4th of July have enough spaghetti sauce in their blood to relish most things Italian, from pizza to Parmesan and Botticelli to Bocce. Bocce?

I'm talking about bocce (bah-chee) ball. It's an ancient lawn bowling game, invented by the Egyptians but organized by the Italians. Italian immigrants brought it to America, and now, the Poteras introduce it to Chattanooga. They've built a new clay court alongside the Maclellan House, terraced down to offer a killer view from the bluff. If you've never heard of bocce, never fear - instructions will be offered and besides, it's easy to learn.

Bocce balls are softball-sized; made of hardwood and coated with enamel. Traditionally, they are red and green. The pallino, however, is white - that's the ball tossed out as the game begins; that's the ball you aim for. Get closest to the pallino and get the point.

Sign up for court times during July, and come for the 3-day clinic at the end of the month. None other than Bocce World Champ Rico Daniele will conduct, assisted by Mario Pagnoni. Both have written books on the sport (Bocce: A Sport for Everyone and The Joy of Bocce); both travel the country promoting it.

Meanwhile, back to Saturday, They'll be offering Italian sodas near the bocce court, and enough music to last all day. Try the Bubba-Q sauce from Tony's, do some sidewalk chalk at the children's tent, stroll the alleys admiring (and buying?) the art, and learn about lawn bowling, Italian style. See you there.

Bluff View 4th of July, Chattanooga
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