Tombola, presepe and Mercante in fiera

The History of Tombola

Lotto was a very poular game in the south of Italy but it was illegal.

In 1734 the king of Napoli Carlo III di Borbone decided that lotto had to became a national game to ear money. But don Rocco didn’t agree because ,according to him, this game was against the religion.

At the end Carlo III made an agreement with don Rocco: it was possible to play lotto all the year but not in the Christmas week dedicated to prayers.

People decided to organize themselves and find the way to play the same: They introduced 90 numbers in a bascket waiting midnight of the last day of the year and writing the numbers on some cards. So they changed the national game in a family game called TOMBOLA. We can say that tombola came from lotto but above all the fantasy of people of Napoli.



The history of Presepe

The tradition of Presepe has very ancient origins, in fact it derives from Lari’s cult. The Lari were ancestors and  they were showed with some little statues. On 20th December the statues was arranged on a little altar where the family get together to pray. The presepe was born from the desire of San Francesco who wanted to show Jesus’ birth. Since that moment the artists produce a little  wood or terracotta  statues. The statues dressed with cloth’s dresses are real works of Art. In Tuscany this tradition was very diffuse and with the pass of the time it expensed in all the Italy. Today all the families build a presepe on the occasion of Christmas. In Italy the tradition is so important, that there are some competitions for decide the best presepe.


The history of Mercante in fiera


The mercante in fiera was born in Venezia in 1500 and it was invented by Geronimo Bambarara, a ragman. He proposed a new and easy game: selling some tickets for only twenty penny. He gave the possibility to the buyers to take part in the final draw. The tickets could be winning and they was called “precio” or they could be loser and they was called “pacientia”.


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