When the weather is fine, and after having their coffee and reading the local Rome paper, the older men at my favourite dodgy bar set up a table across the road and play cards. Their game is briscola.

Briscola is played with a 40-card Italian card pack, which has no eights, nines or tens. The suits appear to be coins, cups, batons and swords instead of the usual hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs. They are playing the game as a six, with two teams of three. That means they have to remove the twos and have just 36 cards. I suspect they are making secret signals to one another.

Rome - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It appears to be a spectator sport. I really must learn how to play.

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