The Sferisterio

The sferisterio was the field were the elastic ball, or “pallapugno”, was played, i.e. a traditional sport very popular in Piedmont in ancient times. The field usually had a length of 90 meters and was flanked on one of the long sides by a wall called “support”, on which the ball could be bounced, and by a net placed above that wall.

The main characteristic of this sport, which also gives it its name, is that the ball is hit with the fist, which is made possible by bandaging one hand and wrist of each player. This game was once popular in all the villages of the Langhe and Roero, and when no dedicated field was available, it was played in the main square.

Elastic ball matches were a very important event, not only during local festivals, but also on Sundays: the matches (often an occasion for betting and, sometimes, for fighting…) were an excuse to meet after a full working week to discuss calmly of various topics.