Bocce is a ball sport belonging to the boules sport family, closely related to bowls and p??tanque, with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Developed into its present form in Italy , it is played around Europe and also in overseas areas that have received Italian migrants, including Australia, North America, and South America . Bocce was initially played among the Italian migrants but has slowly become more popular with their descendants and the wider community. The sport is also very popular on the eastern side of the Adriatic, especially in Croatia, Montenegro and Herzegovina, where the sport is known in Croatian as bo?anje or balote . In Slovenia the sport is known as balinanje or colloquially "playing bo?e"" or bale .In Southern France the sport is also popular and known as Boule Lyonnaise."