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It has been an incredible journey!

The true essence of the Italian Festival for Games has been its inseparability,  the state of being contemporary, the mutual intersecting of its many parts: time to have fun, time for cultural thoughts, prizes, competitions, any kind of challenge, all this was sourrounded by the presence of important publishers and great personalities from the world of culture and the show business. Everybody was involved and felt a great eagerness for abundance. Its culmination was between 1991 and 1993 in the city of Gradara, a real ride of the Valkyries. Who took part in it will never forget it.


Among the public squares (the "piazzas") there was the "central playroom" with thousands of Games for everybody, really for everybody, because the Festival wasn't just a national meeting for game experts: it was also a temptation for the curious, the non experts and even people that had no idea about games. During these days you would have been entered Palazzo Rubini Vesin and, right next to the informatics section that was presenting the state of the art of the new technologies, you would have seen an exhibition of ancient books about games. You would have crossed a "piazza" running into Archimedes' corner and inventors that were showing their prorotypes. Getting up early, you would have encountered a real "invasion" of kids from the schools, entering the fortress; it was happening during the first days of September and this visit to the Festival was for many children their first day of school: that was an imprinting! Entering in the city hall you would have partecipated to a Convention of the national games associations. Taking a walk near the walls of the fortress you would have seen people dressed up in medieval costumes duelling between the tables for the qualifications of championships of various games. In the theatre, after the conference, you would have seen a multimedia role-playing game. Drinking a glass of wine a the "Cantina degli Armigeri" you would have observed the matches between the players of Go.  After dinner, at the "Mastin Vecchio", you would have watched the finals of many Italian Championships.  Along the streets of the heart of the city there were the stands of  the major italian games publishers, all of them supporting this beautiful Festival (well, actually not all of them, there was one that always pretended to recieve all the services for free, guess who that was!). Entering the magnificent Malatestian fortress you also would have seen the prize giving of the "Player of the year". And more, more, more, until getting a headache.


We were so passionate about our job, so involved in what we were doing, that we forgot about the general conditions for the realization of the project, especially the economic and commercial aspects; maybe boring stuff, but essential to survive! Anyway, to tell the truth, we were a great team of... naive people. Maybe by hireing a marketing expert we would have lasted longer; but maybe this ten years experience were intended to run out. Born at the Casino of Venice in 1990, the Italian Festival for Games took place for three years in the city of Gradara (from 1991 to 1993), was then moved in 1994 to the huge trade show space (10.000 mq) of marina di Carrara; the last great presentation took place in the city of Urbino, with an edition that involved most of the public space of one of the most beautiful italian cities. This adventure came to its end in the city of Cagli, where from 1998 to 2000  three smaller but quite nice editions of the Festival took place.


During this incredible "journey" I had the chance to make friends with the unforgettable Sebastiano Izzo, a truly “special” person, not at all touched by the  usual social routine; these years made the incomparable Dario Zaccariotto from a simple assistant to partner of studiogiochi; through the eyes of Roberto Flaibani, I discovered the world of fantasy and technology games; in these years I met many incredible and interesting people like Marco Danè, Mario Rosati, Sergio Valzania, Paolo Fasce, Beatrice Parisi, Michele Comerci, Erasmo Lesignoli, Corrado Giustozzi...

It has been an incredible journey!

Dario De Toffoli, Venice, January 2007

Sebastiano Izzo presents the "Festival Italiano dei Giochi":