Cheese Throwing

the living tradition

Italian cheese

Italy produces many varieties of cheese, each Italian region produces its typical and different kind of cheese from cow, sheep or goat milk. As result in Italy we have about 400 different kind of cheese included in the list of protected Designation of Origin under European law.Pecorino is the name of a family of hard Italian cheese made from sheep's milk.The word pecora, from which the name derives, means sheep.Usually pecorino is aged and tasty (matured ,4 months and over) but pecorino cheese can be also eaten fresh ( less than 2 months old.The longer matured, the harder and more crumbly the cheese becomes with a stronger taste.

Pecorino is not good only to be eaten!! In Petrignano somebody uses it to have fun!!

Every year in Spring in Petrignano di Assisi an ancient event takes place, the CHEESE THROWING.The CHEESE THROWING is characteristic of rural populations all along the Apennines ( middle Italy mountain chain), it is a tradition dating back to the Etruscans. Etruscans lived in Italy before the ancient Romans about 200 years before the time of Christ.Today artwork and treasures created by the Etruscans are recovered in museum collections, but you can also find ruins of the Etruscan cities particularly in Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany. A fresco in a Etruscan tomb shows a man launching a large round form, his posture almost identical to those of current day cheese-throwers.

The game

The goal of the game is to launch a form of cheese along an established path about a kilometer long through the road close to the school.The couple of players that finishes the distance in the least number of throws wins.To throw the heavy forms, a belt made of rope is wrapped around the cheese and then strapped to the wrist by a brace. One of the two players goes ahead and carefully ponders the direction to give to the throw.Then turns around and stands, legs apart, at the exact point where the thrower should direct the cheese throw.The path is repeated, first up and then down the street.Our school in partnership with LENZA PETRIGNANESE, every year organizes a cheese throwing competition between pupils to promote the ancient cheese throwing rural tradition to keep it alive.