Fillide Playing Cards

Date: January 13, 2020 Category: ,

“You shall be marked upon my tomb as the cruel cause of my death, and handed down to posterity in these or similar lines: “Fillide died by the cruelty of Acamante; a faithful mistress by a perfidious guest. He was the barbarous cause; she gave herself the fatal blow.”

-‘Fillide to Acamante’, adapted from The Epistles of Ovid, 43 BC-AD 18

Fillide: a Sicilian Folk Tale

Inspired by the Sicilian folk legend of the origins of the almond tree, Fillide tell a timeless tale of magic and heartbreak passed down for centuries.

Fillide, the first project from Jocu, are a brand new concept in professional playing cards for magicians, cardists, gamblers, cartomancers, collectors and lovers of magical things.

Our cards don’t just handle beautifully, they tell a story.


Fillide Playing Cards

  • 56 fully custom playing cards by Jocu designer Alessandra Gagliano
  • 52 cards, two jokers, a double-backer and a story card
  • Available in Acqua (Green + Silver) and Terra (Brown + Gold)
  • Printed on Linen Finish premium B9 card stock by Cartamundi
  • Metallic inks on the backs and the court cards
  • Embossed foil tuck boxes with interior printing
  • Foil accents and details on the tuck box
  • Designed in Italy, printed in Belgium. Fully created in 1000km² in Europe


Designed in Italy by Sicilian artist Alessandra Gagliano, Fillide playing cards draw inspiration from the folk legends of Sicily, where ancient Greek temples and Roman theatres still stand almost side by side. The intriguing history of the island has created a diverse mix of cultures and ancient traditions, and these cards showcase beautiful imagery and symbolism from Sicilian folklore.

Printed in Belgium on Cartamundi’s premium B9 card stock, our elegant and luxurious playing cards spread, fan and faro beautifully and will bring a dose of real magic to your performances, flourishes and card games.

Truly ‘Made in Europe’, the entire process of designing and producing Fillide playing cards will take place within less than 1000 km² in central Europe.


The Design

Available in Acqua or Terra, Fillide depict a wealth of ancient symbolism and imagery, as well as Sicilian iconography. Taking centre-stage is Fillide, after her transformation into an almond tree and blossoming at the touch of the returning Acamante.

The faces feature fully custom pips respecting the classic style of playing cards, meaning they are perfect for players and magicians.

The courts are completely custom whilst respecting elements of the classic designs. Hobbyists will appreciate the differences, but your spectators won’t raise an eyebrow. They  feature characters from Sicilian folklore, a mix of Greek and Roman mythology. Fans will undoubtedly recognise some of the most notorious characters in the courts.

The Aces retell the entire tale of Fillide. From the couple meeting, Fillide and Amacante parting, the death of Fillide and finally her blossoming upon Acamante’s return.

The two identical jokers are a reimagining of the classic Sicilian emblem of the Trinacria, which is also the earliest known name for the island of Sicily.

The matte tuck boxes are finished with foil in gold or silver and feature embossed details.

Other details pay tribute to Juno (the Queen of Spades), goddess of the moon who took pity on Fillide and transformed her, the elements, the Sicilian triskele, and the three realms of nature – earth, sea and sky. Look closely and you will find many other intriguing details hidden throughout the 54 cards of the deck.

Fillide are printed by Cartamundi, on premium B9 card stock featuring CMYK colouring with Pantone metallic inks, embossed premium matte tuck box with foil touches and internal printing. No expense has been spared in realising the exact design we wanted.

For the casual collector, Fillide are a luxurious and unique design celebrating the beauty and magic of the natural world. For the magician and cardist, they are a spellbinding and mysterious tool for inspiring wonder.

The Legend of Fillide and Acamante

After her lover Acamante (Acamas) leaves to fight in the war against Troy, Fillide (Phyllis) is left anxious and alone. Unable to cope after months of being apart, she tragically dies of a broken heart. 

Moved by her plight, the goddess Giunone (Juno) takes pity on young Fillide and grants her another chance at life – as a beautiful almond tree. When Acamante finally returns, the tree blossoms into thousands of bright white flowers.

Having been a hugely important territory in both the Greek and Roman empires, Sicily’s folklore often mixes tales from both mythologies. The story of Acamante and Fillide is now a fixture of Sicilian folklore, often being retold and celebrated in springtime. In the south of Sicily, in Agrigento, the yearly blossoming of the almond trees is celebrated as a huge festival. The tale lives on today, albeit retold in dialect.

Over the thousands of years since these tales were first told, details twist and change. Was it Acamante or his brother Demafonte with whom she fell in love? Did Juno offer her a second chance at life, or was it the goddess Athena?

Whilst we may never know the original details of the legend, perhaps a clue to this classic tale of heartbreak and rebirth can be witnessed today at the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. There you can see the Almond trees in full white bloom every year – right next to the Temple of Juno.

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Fillide: A Sicilian Folk Tale by Jocu Playing Cards funded with Kickstarter.

This is an incredible result for a first time creator and we are ready to deliver this special deck.

Thank you everyone!