I’m finally settled into my hotel in beautiful Verona, after a long flight from Colorado. I took my hatbox as a carry on, which got a few inquiries and odd looks. Those in the know asked me what brand of hat I had, and a few old cowboys at the Denver airport gruffly commented that my hat “looked pretty new” when I showed it to them. One woman asked if I was transporting a snake in my “portable terrarium.”
Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Fiera Cavalli, an equestrian exposition and trade show that’s been going on since 1898 (www.fieracavalli.it/eng). For the next few days, exhibitors from all over the world will be sharing their unique horse culture; there will be indigenous breeds, historical reenactors, craftsman, and much more. Recently, Western disciplines have been introduced to Fiera Cavalli to accommodate Europe’s burgeoning interest in Western riding. Reining, team penning, Western pleasure, and some speed events will be showcased, and I can’t wait to see how Western riding and cowboy culture have been adopted on this side of the Atlantic. I’m also curious about the traditions and techniques of Italy’s traditional cowboys, the butteri. The butteri herd cattle in the Tuscan region of Italy, on a breed of horse called a Maremmano.
I've also heard some some wonderful things about the the trade show. How do you say "do those cowboy boots come in a size 9" in Italian?