...my treasures do not sparkle they clink,
they shine in the sun and neigh in the night...



Carriages four tourists in towns: an exploitation to ban


(26th October 2012)

Elaine, a foreign girl just returned home from a trip in Italy wrote us: “I’m just back from Rome and I’m horrified after seeing the horses used to pull the carriages in town, victims of heat, thirst and swarms of buzzing and biting horse-flies. It was a horrible sight! I was too disgusted to even take a photo picturing the unease of these poor creatures. I ask you to do something about it”.

How to explain to Elaine (and to the many foreigners writing us with similar concerns) that in Italy the word tradition is often abused, completely losing its meaning and being used to cover real forms of exploitation and slavery that in a civil country would be already relegated in the past?

How to tell her there are local administrators (such in Bergamo) that are thinking of introducing carriages in their town, probably envious toward Rome, Milan, Florence, Palermo and the other locations where this awful practice is carried on?

Well, we should begin from afar, and tell her in Italy there is no legislation to protect the equines. That anyone can wake up a morning and decide what are the wellbeing parameters for these animals and act accordingly to them, using the animals as they please. No one intervenes, unless the horse or the donkey in question shows signs of terrible, agonizing abuses (and sometimes not even this is enough to make the authorities act).

We would like to ask to the mayors and administrators of these towns on what ethologic knowledge they consider the pulling of carriages for tourists “respectful of the horses’ lives”.

Let’s start with the Bergamo administrators: since the mayor and the assessors declare to be so sensitive, we ask them to replace the unhealthy carriage idea with a conference about the protection of the horses, to which we would be more than happy to attend, bringing our contribute of knowledge of these animals. It would be a logic path, clear and correct to evaluate the matter, recognizing each other’s competences.

As we wait for an answer, we hail with pleasure the novelty recently introduced in Florence: a city tour on a rickshaw with pedals. Ecologic, entertaining and without slavery.