Don’t call it lawn bowling. Bocce is a venerable Italian game of skill in which two teams vie to see who can pitch balls closest to a smaller ball called a “jack.” Traditionally it was played by guys resembling Tony Soprano’s Uncle Junior. Today guys and gals alike enjoy its strategic (and sometimes cutthroat) maneuvers; payoff is the chance to scream “Bocce!” whenever your ball comes in contact with the jack. In San Francisco, you can roll your own in North Beach’s Aquatic Park, which offers a splendid view of the Bay as well as the Bocce. Bring your own balls. Bonus: Bring a bottle of Chianti and your favorite antipasti. If you want to Bocce beyond the city, try Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos. More Information.
To get to Aquatic Park, go to the north end of Van Ness Ave. Park and look for the courts to the right of the parking lot.