Gioco dell’Ocha ~ Italian Game of the Goose

(as researched by Giata Alberti aka FleurtyHerald)

This is a “path” game from the Italian Renaissance, invented by the Florentines and given as a gift to the Court of Naples from the Medici. Akin to the modern game titled “Life”, players use pieces to move along the path according to rolls of the die or instructions on the board. Players take turns rolling two dice and moving their pawn around the board by the sum of their roll. The board has all the same special spaces that Goose games throughout its history have included:

• The Bridge on space 6 that advances the player to space 12.
• An Inn on space 19 where the traveler tarries for one turn.
• The Well on space 31, where the visitor loses 2 turns.
• The Maze of space 42, wherein the traveler loses the way and returns to space 30.
• The Dungeon on space 52, where the prisoner remains until another arrives and the two trade places. An additional means of escape is to roll a 9 and go to one of the fields with dice.
• Space 58, where a cooked goose appears in place of the traditional Grim Reaper, sends the player back to start.

Additional rules:

A lucky throw of 9 at the beginning of the spiral path advances a player to one of the fields with geese (6+3 goes to space 26, 4+5 goes to space 53).

Landing on any of the pretty geese doubles a player’s move.

To win, a roll must land you exactly on 63. The surplus is counted by moving backwards from 63.

1580 il novo gioco de loca - Milano

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2 thoughts on “Gioco dell’Ocha ~ Italian Game of the Goose

  1. Where did you get the image for this post? I would like to print it for my gaming chest but I don’t want to do that without if it is a museum piece.

    1. It is a photo of the 1580 Milanese version of Gioco Del Oca. If you email me at my gmail address (fleurtyherald) I can send you the image. Tell me more about your gaming chest, too!

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