Cleveland – August 2015 – Fine Arts and Bocce Ball

When we arrived home after our long Saturday the plans were to relax around the house on Saturday, until I read about an International Bocce Ball tournament being held in the Cleveland suburb of Wickliffe So the next morning we were up bright and early and on our way up I-71 to Cleveland.

Men and women clad in team colors stared down a dusty alley, eyed up the other team’s bocce balls from every angle and then shot their bocce down the track trying to get the best shot next to the pallino, the small white sphere at the other end of the bocce course.

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For the 29th year the Italian-American Club of Wickliffe hosted the annual Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce sponsored by Pat O’Brien Chevrolet. The tournament welcomed 96 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams from across the United States and Canada.

Wickliffe’s bocce tournament is touted as the largest in the Midwest, and club officials estimated this year’s crowd at 15,000 visitors from Friday through Sunday.

One goal of the Italian-American Club is to teach people about their Italian heritage and culture. The local bocce clubs, he said, are a way of reaching across generations and bringing more people together.

After enjoying the bocce ball and having a massive Italian Omelet (sounds like an oxymoron but it was good) we bid arrivederci to Wickliffe and headed for University Circle, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is located in the Wade Park District of University Circle. Internationally renowned for its substantial holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, the museum houses a diverse permanent collection of more than 45,000 works of art from around the world. The museum has remained historically true to the vision of its founders, keeping general admission free to the public and with a $750 million endowment it is “one of the wealthiest in the nation.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art divides its collections into 16 departments including Chinese Art, Modern European Art, African Art, Drawings, Prints, European Art, Textiles & Islamic Art, American Painting & Sculpture, Greek & Roman Art, Contemporary Art, Medieval Art, Decorative Art & Design, Pre-Columbian and Native North American Art, Japanese & Korean Art, Indian & Southeast Asian Art, and Photography. Their collection was so vast we arrived shortly after opening for the day and stayed until nearly closing time admiring the paintings and sculptures.

Leaving University Circle we headed down Euclid Avenue towards the freeway, Euclid Avenue is home to the remaining mansions from Millionaires Row. While most are long gone, a few have managed to survive until today. To see these magnificent homes in Ohio’s worst neighborhood is a sad sight indeed. But at least they still stand.