Archive for the ‘ fairs ’ Category

La storia per gioco

I’m so tired and replete! Sunday I was in Canino (VT) for a wargame convention organised by Narciso, my wargame club mate who lives there. The opportunity was a countryside festival about asparagus. The municipal authorities gave us a building in the town centre to place our tables. So some demonstration games ran all the day.

The Napoleonic rules by Di Bartolo in a mastered battle. Only for grognards.

The Clan Conan of LuccaGames fame was there. Romans versus late Macedonians with easy rules: Battle of Cynoscephalae (364 BC).

The best demonstration table. Diego has got a real feeling for children. So he took Song of Blade and Heroes, mastered and simplified the rules to baby level, and a lot of fun were spread.

Vlad the Impaler always by Clan Conan. Playable by common men.

Another preview for Of Gods And Mortals. In these days I’m studying the rules to build a new mythological pantheon expansion.

This is a demonstration game season. So I was there with my Ferrum et Gloria. Now I’m writing the rules, at last! In this phase I’m editing all the game mechanics to add more fluency to the play and to clarify some situations. The goal is to have the published version in the late 2013.

Narciso is an artist too. His first attempt to make something about miniature sculpting: two 75mm gladiators that he sculpted with Milliput and realised with resin. I think that they are great! Remember, his first attempt…

And now, back to the countryside festival. Part of the long historical parade. Sorry, I didn’t captured the feeling of the thing, it was better than what you can see here. There were three horses too. Canino is a little town, so it is a big effort to have a lot of people with medieval costumes.

Asparagus, oil and artichokes, sold at bargain prices, especially the asparaguses, something like one euro for one bundle! This place has got an agricultural vocation, and they are famous for high quality oil and early production of asparagus.

All wargamers together for the lunch. And a multi courses menu exclusively based on asparagus recipes: with oil and vinegar, with pasta and fish, with potatoes and meat, with calamari, au gratin. Two hours and half for this duty. The ladies around the table (girlfriends, Andrea’s mother and Di Bartolo’s wife) went in the morning to visit an ancient Longobard stronghold in the surroundings, in a trip leaded by Narciso among tuff rocks and high grass. Narciso is the chap with sideburns.

In the main square of the town, the traditional Guinness omelet with asparagus, the topic moment of the festival. An eggs massacre for the joy of people.

And here a close-up on my slice of omelet. A great day, fun with friends and some dices rolled around. Later, after the greetings to the wargamers, we reorganised the place and the materials. After we take the dinner with some Narciso’s friends, again asparagus, but on pizza this time.


Military market in Piana delle Orme

In the past I lost a lot of opportunities to visit military markets in my local area. Instead this time I went up to Latina, during a freezing raining day.

Among flat fields near Latina there is a private museum inside agriculture warehouses. It is about military vehicles and other collections regrouped by a hobbyist like us, but with some money more in his pockets. We collect models, he bought the original items. They are transport vehicles at most. They are a lot and ready to be put on road. This place is called Piana delle Orme.

Every 4 months they organise a military market in a small empty pavilion. You can find WWII items in real scale. Almost all is original. We are near the Anzio front so something is even recently dug up from those places.

If you need an helmet this is the right place. Some were at bargain prices as 20/30 euro. But these people are professionals so generally prices were not so low.

Collectors are always strange people. Everyone is looking for something, from helmet rivets to complete machine-guns. I was not so interested about finding something to add to my reenactment equipment. Principally because I only need weapons and they are at high prices.

In these days I’m thinking about a Beretta MAB 38a. In the photo you can view it among other weapons. It costs 900 euro. Another time, if I cannot satisfied myself with another thing that I’m trying to buy in these days.


+Libri +Liberi 2012

Every year there is in Rome this fair about books. It is based on small publishers. It is the opportunity to know and buy something different from the usual, that is something that you cannot find in mainstream bookstores. So you have obscure publishers, whodunit specialised ones, archaeological ones, and extreme left and right ones. Oh, there is space for cooking, travel and poetry books too.

All this is inside a strange building from fascist era, a congress palace conceived for the universal exposition of 1942, that was build in the ’50s instead. Cold new-classical rationalism. A little freezing those days because the temperature was below the zero. And with the economic crisis in Italy the fair was less crowded than usual. The name of the fair is “more book more freedom”. But now we have “less books and less freedom”.

This time we hadn’t the usual space for publisher from Sardegna. The crisis. We had more space for ebooks, but Berlusconi – the owner of the biggest publishing and distribution companies – don’t want them, so this market is pretty close and non influential. I bought just a couple of book for me and some to give for Christmas. This was the time for a book on Etruscan origins and another one on military strategy. More to read while I’m going to the job place.


Pabogel 2012

After two years Pabogel is in Rome again! Two pavilions in the nowhere land of the Fair of Rome. The entry was restricted only to professional food operators, but I have got a special card to get to every fair. The main food typologies were pizza, fried, croissants, ice creams, coffee. It is all very interesting…

This fair is the opportunity to eat great food for free. A competition about pizza was held in the fair, so you could eat pizzas from master chefs. Or you eat it or we throw it away. I sacrifice myself and eat as pizza as possible to my stomach.

Traditional pizza is cooked in wood stove. So this company is selling electric ovens disguised as wood stoves. Tree stumps are furnished to camouflage the truth! With the wood stove the taste is different, more bitter, and the consistency is harder, but pizza made with electric oven is good the same. The real difference are ingredients and leavening with natural rising agents. Often these are the weak part in a pizza, not the oven!

Various fresh croissants and strudels, ready for the oven. They were selling machines to industrially produce them. So the frozen product is sold to vendors that cook it as their homemade product.

The great revelation: the crisps machine! So we can understand as they are made! They were even selling an automatic crisps machine for movable vending stands. From the potato to the hot crisps in your hands.

We know this Kanon coffee from Naples only because they are present in the fair. Every time they promote themselves with the use of gorgeous South-Americans stand assistants. Another reason to go to fairs is to watch female stand assistants. The only remark is that for a food fair you expect rubicund female cooks, a sign of good appetite, while here you could see only slim girl with bare thighs. I appreciate them for sure, but they are a sign of anorexia indeed.

I still have got some posts about 2012 events like this one. So I’m late about my things but I want to show all to you. After these kind of posts more arenas and little soldiers.


Arti & Mestieri 2012

It is Christmas time and in Rome there was the annual fair about handicraft and regional foods. More than ten years ago I participated with one game stand a couple of times. It was called “Natale Oggi” (Christmas Today) when we were in the old fair structures inside the city, while now it is called “Arti & Mestieri” (Arts and Crafts) in the new fair along the Tiber valley.

My first beer after some time. It was my first exit after my allergic reaction that lasted two weeks due to stress: I run three different jobs. In the morning I visited the Happymodel fair about railway modelling and 54mm soldiers for collectors. Sorry, I took some stuff but I didn’t take photos because I was late. Then I was in this other fair. I bought some gifts for my family. There was a lot of good traditional food: cheese, jam, beer, oil, sausages,…

This was the place where a Guinness record was established: the biggest pizza. And it was edible to coeliac people too. This pizza was cooked a couple of days before so nothing remains. They ate it all! Pity!

Another event was inside the fair, an international beer exposition. A good idea ruined by the policy of high prices, among other idiocies as sloppiness and the distant place where they put it. These the rules to drink: 20cl of beer for 12 euro; 3 euro more for each additional 20cl. But they gave to you a glass and a book. Well, this is not the snob wine market, this is beer, another way to drink! Moreover the nearest snack or other kind of food was 10 minutes walk far. How you can drink without nothing to eat? And the fair is reachable by car at most, so after all that alcohol you cannot drive.

The result: 420 kinds of beers, 40 cash registers and 40 paying people.


Lucca C&G 2012: aftermath

After 5 days in Lucca Comics & Games I needed some sleep. I was among thousands of staff people and 180000 paying people. I worked heavy at the Ganesha stand but I succeeded to take almost 250 photos, so you have to wait a little to watch a full report in thematic posts on this web. However now I’m offering you some official videos to understand what is this fair. Enjoy!


Romics 2012

The Roman convention about comics, cosplay and games: Romics. This time I was together with Andrea Sfiligoi in the quest for Japanese giant robots miniatures. He want to use them with Samurai Robots Battle Royale rules. I spotted the gashapons, Andrea bought them! I’m an hardcore comic fan since my early childhood, before I learned to read. So every year I’m here to buy some comics and gadgets, spending some time in this really exciting atmosphere. Oh, I almost forgot, and to view beautiful girls too.

Speaking about the buyers view I could say that in the current world of comics the most important things nowadays are the gadgets (t-shirts, costumes, bags, figures,…). Comics – and anime – seem to have a secondary role. However these two things live side by side, helping each other, as you could see here. Instead the game sector was marginal in this convention: this is not a place for gamers, there are too many people who are looking for other things. In spite of this there were Games Workshop demo tables, game vendors, a boardgame area cured by Reindeers, Magic card players.

I don’t want to bore you with piles of dusty old comics or with phantasmagorical superhero covers. I told you that the place was full of comics and it is enough. Comic conventions are cosplayers crowed, so now is better to show something more coloured.

Cosplay is the main reason to go to a comic convention by now. As a matter of fact a third of the space available was dedicated to a cosplay theatre. It is a new form of expression generated from comics. Some people show their love for this world becoming a comic – or anime or magna – character.

These two guys stayed a lot of time three meters above the ground in this position to draw attention to their costumes. The cosplayer hard life.

A nice nun with gun: cosplay is for men (!) too. I saw many men who challenged the weather temperature to show their muscles, and sometimes they were dressed only with their underwear and little more to create a costume. Well, however I prefer girls.

Every time I see lots of Catwomen, Lara Croft and Lamù. Cosplay is a way to give vent to female exhibitionism too. Human females always compete each other with methodology employed to increase sexual attraction towards human males. So a comic convention is an arena where they can show their beauty increased by costumes.

Even this time I censure myself. Some crazy girls without shame were throwing at you their asses and boobs. I can’t publish photos of extremely undressed women, sorry. I just give you an image about these tits-pads to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. I own one, it works.

It’s always the same old story. The convention closed at 19 and we left at 18.30. Then we tried to reach the railway but some railwaymen stopped us at the bottom of the stairs of the unsafe bridge that take to the platform roof. It was overcrowded. So we had to wait under a storm. We spent an hour here, in a queue toward that stairs, squeezed by people and water. Umbrellas were our canopy. We were freezing due to rain. The railwaymen allowed us to reach the platform roof after the passage of a couple of trains. After we had to wait another hour. Two trains didn’t stop at this station because they were only for upper class travellers. When the next train arrived with a 25 minutes late, it was assaulted by the crowd. Andrea’s bag was ripped when he got up the train. No wounded people, a miracle. So he lost a couple of gashapons. We could leave at 20.30, other people left only with the next train. 40 minutes more for them. This is the only public transport to reach the fair buildings of the capital city of Italy, a fair in the middle of nowhere, near only to swamps and fields. Commuters live similar situations every day.

In the photo you can view the platform roof as soon as we could reach it. More people were arriving. You can view, lighted by neon lights: a half-naked cosplayer wrapped up with a borrowed sweatshirt; another girl who wears the boyfriend’s jacket; a girl consoled by a boy; people eyes that reflect their powerlessness. Italy…


Mercatino giapponese di Natale

Every a couple of months there is a Japanese market here in Rome. And now is Christmas time so Sunday we hoped to find something as gift. This market is organised by two brothers form Japan with their little shop here in the city. It is an opportunity to find something from that far land, near to us thanks to anime and other cultural interests.

You can find a lot of things, not only from Japan. It is a little fair of nice handmade stuff too. This time Andrea from Ganesha Games was with us looking for some gashapons for Samurai Robot Battle Royale. He bought a couple of them. I bought some small gifts for my sister. As starter for the lunch we ate a Japanese sweetie with jam made with red beans. And we all watched some cosplayers and a beautiful retailer with fake reindeer horns…