Amico Gino Brings Pop-up Bocce Ball to Boise 

click to enlarge COURTESY AMERICAN BOCCE COMPANY
  • Courtesy American Bocce Company
Bocce ball and wine go together like peanut butter and jelly, to the point that winecountrygetaways.com has an entire category of "Bocce Wineries." For Gino Pilato, the man behind the Amico Gino wine tasting and Italian language classes that pop up around Boise, adding bocce ball to his party repertoire just made sense. He has been playing the game since childhood with his Italian grandparents and with the Italian American Club of Boise, but said he was recently inspired to expand its reach.

click to enlarge COURTESY AMERICAN BOCCE COMPANY
  • Courtesy American Bocce Company
"I wanted to bring it to more people and kind of figure out a way to do that," said Pilato, "so I got in touch with this company called the American Bocce Company out in Chicago, and they build these portable courts."

Pilato said his court collapses into a duffel bag, and when it's time to set it up he simply rolls out the turf, inflates the court's low canvas walls, passes out the balls: Presto! Instant bocce ball, indoors or out. He's working with several breweries and wineries on the court's debut appearances, but said it's ready to go for private parties and can be combined with his other services, including wine tastings and Italian language lessons, for a full Italian cultural experience.

"It will be just one more element to add to it, to kind of give it a little more flair, a little more fun," said Gino.

Visit the Amico Gino website to learn more, and if you'd like to get a look at some experienced bocce playing in the meantime, the Boise Bocce League starts it season on Tuesday, May 7. Here's a rundown of the rules of the game. 
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