IN PICTURES: An international hide and seek tournament in an Italian ghost town

The Local Italy
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IN PICTURES: An international hide and seek tournament in an Italian ghost town
A team of hiders races back to 'base'. All photos: Nascondino World Championship

Over the weekend, hide-and-seek enthusiasts from across the globe descended on a tiny Italian town to battle it out in the quest to be crowned international champions of the sport.


For the second time in its eight-year history, the tournament was held in Consonno, a small Italian town which has lain uninhabited for years, since a landslide put an end to an eccentric count's plan to transform it into 'Lombardy's Las Vegas'.

"Consonno is always a party", declares this sign at the entrance to the town. Ordinarily, that's not quite true, but for one weekend a year, the hide-and-seek championships breathe life into the town.

The town's buildings - including a Chinese minaret and medieval-style castle - are structurally unsafe, so the game takes place outdoors across a 65,000 metre-squared area.

The event started out as a joke between friends, who set up the championship after starting a spontaneous game of hide-and-seek and asking themselves why such an event didn't exist.

In the early years, only Italian teams took part, but this year 80 teams joined in - including some from the US, Japan, and Australia.

A weekend of extreme bad weather across the country added an additional element to contend with, and only 39 of the teams stuck it out until Sunday.

The aim of the game is for each player in the team to head back to the safe 'base' before being spotted and caught by one of the 'finders' - a neutral team chosen for their athleticism.

A set of obstacles were placed across the fields to assist the hiders in their mission.

As well as the participants, Consonno also played host to spectators who came to watch the games unfold.

In the end, after two days of hiding, an Italian team from Bergamo were crowned the winners, and Italians also scooped second and third place, bringing the 'Golden Fig Leaf' award back to Italy.




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