See, I told you that there'd be no wimpy papier mache pinatas at the Festa de San Piero!

In Italian, pignatta (pronounced almost exactly the same way as in Spanish) means a solid clay pot, initially one that was used for cooking, say, minestrone. So, that's what they break!! I was thoroughly shocked that this was a kids' activity when I first saw it, even though nowadays, at least in Venice, they tend to use flower pots instead and issue protective helmets for the children. But in the good ol' days, as you can see in this photo from the town of Fenestrelle (near Turin) in the 1960s, there was none of that!

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