Tis the Season for Tombola

Tis the Season for Tombola

Italians play Tombola from Christmas Eve (while waiting for Midnight Mass) to the Epiphany (while waiting for La Befana). It’s also a popular choice for the older generation that tends to stay in to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

This is a simple game that unites generations and is a main stay over the holidays in Italy. In fact, many Italian television shows feature their own versions during the season. (Watch RAI International and you’ll probably see.)

What is beautiful about Tombola is its simplicity. It’s the kind of game that you’d think would get old. Yet, year after year, my Italian friends and family gather round and roll the number markers. Sometimes, they play for hours. They usually have snacks and talk and talk.

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