S-CIANCO! – A historical game for past and present generations



A traditional game very popular among the generations of all Italy’s region, is named Lippa. In each area the name of the game was different, due to local dialect. Im Mantua, it was named “s-ciancol”, which spelling sound give the sense of the game.

One of the thesis is that this game was practiced from middle east population since ancient time, theory supported by the use in India of a similar game named gillidanda. Those elements today are conserved in Petrie Museum of London and even in Roman and Etruscan wall paintings.


This game, like every good game, has a very simple mechanic and materials. A player needs a long wood stick as a mace, a short wood stick with the edges cutted , which will be the lippa. Every player has to use the same instruments and there are two modality of game.

The first one provide the use of a stone as a cornerstone and with the mace hit with accuracy one side of the lippa, in order to throw it as far as possible. Another mode consist on design a circle on the ground around the player, hit the lippa handling it in one hand. He can position the lippa vertically or horizontally, as to give more o less speed to the object.

In each case, the other player has to snatch the lippa not allowing it to touch the ground and to be enough distant to not be hurt by it. If the receiver manage to get the lippa, the position are switched, becoming the batter. The only variation is the second case, because the receiver has to launch the lippa into the circle and the batter has to block it with the stick while standstill within the circle.

This game can be exciting, especially when the end of the match is uncertain.


Nowadays Lippa is recognized as one of the traditional Italian games, being inside the Italian Federation of Game and Traditional Sport (FIGeST). Does exists a national championship held each year, divided in categories. The lippa compares also with some important Italian and international historical actors, like Stanlio and Olio (1934) and Totò (1950).



  • Federico Motta, Giocavamo Così, Cento e più giochi di quando eravamo poveri, Editoriale Sometti, Mantova, 2001.
  • www.figest.it
  • www.agaverona.it  
    mantua and sabbioneta

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