Video Giochi 2017 – Pastrengo/Italy

For some time now, I’ve wanted to put out feelers in the direction of the Italian arcade scene and since I’ve come across the adjacent poster on FB from time to time, I thought it was the perfect opportunity. Especially as I already had a few contacts in Italy and it was only 300 km away from where I live, so it was one of the shorter journeys for us. Normally it’s not less than 500 to 1000 km 😉 So we packed up a few friends and set off in the direction of Pastrengo (VR), at the lower end of Lago di Garda (Lake Garda). After a 3-hour drive we were already there and a piece of idyll awaited us close to Lake Garda. As I researched later, the Caserma Leopold was built in 1861 and once housed 14 cannons to protect a nearby important thoroughfare. Today it is an excursion destination and includes a pizzeria and an event venue that can be hired.


There was plenty of parking space and so we were able to dive straight into the fun. The fort could be entered via a small bridge and we reached a forecourt, which suggested an interesting location. We were immediately impressed, it was the perfect place for cabs like Dragons Lair, Mario and co 😉 We plunged straight into the fun and were greeted at the entrance by a few pinball machines. Perfectly distributed in all kinds of corners and spacious niches were machines from the golden arcade era. While the machines are usually lined up close together, there was enough space here to show off the sidearts of the Arcades to their best advantage. Without exception, the Cabs were in very good condition. It’s rare to see something like this! There was also a flea market, a console and home computer corner, which were used diligently. The area for LaserDisc Games was also impressive. Dragons Lair, Dragons Lair II, Space Ace, Atari’s Firefox and a full size Mad Dog McCree II The Lost Gold and a Dragons Lair Table Top. Really, really cool!

Another highlight was the Alien SE pinball from the pre-series of Heighway, which was provided by RS-Pinball. As an Alien fan, I really wanted to try it out. And thanks to Alessandro Varadero, I managed to do so, because he quickly repaired the device after a component broke. The sound and gameplay were really fun and the playing field details were more than worthy of the movie. Cool pinball!

Thank you Alessandro! You did a tremendous Job!


There was also a pizzeria in the property where you could enjoy Italian delicacies. The staff were very friendly and despite the large number of hungry people, the food and drinks were served quickly! What we didn’t realize at first was that there was a second location right opposite. This doubled the fun factor. In addition to the cool location, there were lots of nice and interesting people. For example, one of the Italian Mame DEVs Robiza was at the event, as was a developer of the Daphne LaserDisc Emulator Marco M., who I had already met before. Not forgetting Antonio Nati, who had already given me a warm welcome in Jesolo and introduced me to the Italian arcade scene. Of course we talked shop and laughed and talked about all sorts of things in the arcade scene.


Of course, we didn’t want to miss out on playing and so we helped ourselves to the wide selection of cabs and pins. As you can see in the following pictures, there was really something on offer, you don’t see cabs like this every day. There was also an information stand where a LaserDisc player played Michael Jackson’s greatest hits and some presentations, albeit in Italian, but non parlo italiano 😉 There was even a little merchandising, so you could get hold of very good quality T-shirts, stickers and polo shirts. I myself couldn’t get past a Galaga and a Pac-Man polo 😉 Alessandro Bolgia also bought us an arcade drink and introduced us to some interesting people from the Italian arcade scene.

A big thank to Antonio, Alessandro and the team. The whole event was one of the best i had the joy to visit. I only recently found out that it was Antonio Nati’s first event, which makes this event even more special. There were also very interesting people you don’t see every day. This is a strong signal of the european arcade community.

 The friendly atmosphere during the event was also striking. Despite the language barriers, I was able to talk to some people by „hand and foot“, which worked surprisingly well. The fact that Italy is an arcade country is not only noticeable in places like Jesolo, Bibione or Caorle, where there really are a lot of sale giochi, but also in the visitors. While you rarely see families in arcades here, it’s completely different in Italy and all age groups were represented. Especially when you look at the youngsters with their wide, astonished eyes, you are reminded of your own youth and the many Sale Giochis on the Adriatic, which made your arcade heart beat faster.

Be sure to follow Antonio on Facebook, he always organizes great arcade events in Italy.

As always, time flew by far too quickly and we soon had to start our journey home. Conclusion: It was a really cool arcade event and next year we definitely have to plan 2 days, one is definitely MUCH too short.

Below is a short tour captured on video. Have fun 😉