This rhyme is in the Venetian dialect.


*The actual word for fifty is tzinquanta/zinquanta (cinquanta in standard Italian)
**"Pan biscoto" (biscotto in standard Italian) is a Venetian specialty. It's a very hard and very dry bread, cooked twice (hence "biscotto" –cooked twice) that the Republic of Venice would give to her sailors to soak in their milk, soup or other liquids during their long trips at sea. They would literally soak it to soften it so they could eat it.

Emanuela added, "Even today old bread is used to dunk (in Italy, from this comes the idea of the slices of bread that are sold, but the taste is very different. We eat them with jam, honey or chocolate spread). Old bread, cooked twice, is also grated to make breadcrumbs and is used to prepare Milanese cutlets, meatballs, or baked vegetables au gratin." -Emanuela

Another version found on the internet that Emanuela thinks to be the one she learned as a child:

Pié piedin quarantin (Foot, little foot, forty-oot)
pié quaranta (foot forty)
pì' uno, (plus- one)
pì' do, (plus- two)
pì' tre, (plus- three)
pì' quattro, (plus- four)
pì' sinque, (plus- five)
pì' sie, (plus- six)
pì' sette, (plus- seven)
pì' otto (plus- eight)
quarantotto (forty-eight)
pan biscotto biscotin (crunchy bread, little cookie in)
tira dentro quel bel pie-din. (draw this fine footie in).

Game Instructions

The children sit on a circle with their legs spread in front of them and shoeless. A child previously chosen is in the center and recites the rhyme while touching the tip of each child's foot. The child whose foot has been touched on the last syllable folds their leg putting their foot under their bottom. The child whose foot is last to remain wins and they swap roles with the one in the middle.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Emanuela Marsura for sharing this rhyme the game instructions and for commenting on it. Translated by Emanuela and Monique.