where, in italy, is the larger guy encouraged to kick the smaller guy; the boyfriend to kick his girlfriend, and; the father to kick his child? easy: on the calcinculo (literally kick-in-the-butt) a fairgrounds attraction as old as anyone can remember.
anybody living in italy today has ridden on a calcinculo when they were young children (there are smaller, tamer versions for kids), so it has presumably been around at least a century. as the documentary photos i am posting below show, the whole contraption is extremely low-tech. a spinning carousel and aluminum chairs hanging from chains. they are itinerant, which means they are easily assembed and dismantled.
one euro gets you a ride that lasts at a few minutes, but the whole point of the game is to try and reach for a ‘flag’ or ‘target’ or ‘tail’. several years ago i saw a fox’s tail being used. you team up, and the person in the back tries to push (by means of a strong kick) the one at the front at the right time and with the right angle towards the ‘flag’, hanging a few meters away. if you grab it, or simply knock it free of the clothespin, you get the next ride free.
these pictures, show the general good mood and good looks of italian youths having fun in a timeless fashion on the first days of summer.
photographs shot in a public park in rome, in june 2012