Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Horses of Rome

When we were Rome last, we just happened to tour the Capitoline Museum and saw this recently restored horse. I really didn't know much about this statue, except how strikingly beautiful it was.

So you can imagine how surprised I was to see this while trying to take a shortcut through the Villa Borghese Park from the Borghese Gallery to the Piazza del Popolo. Of all things, in the middle of the park, there was a horse show! These gentlemen, I believe are the mounted carabinieri. Yes, these horses were as beautiful as the statue I had seen a few days below, just a lot more high-strung.

This nice policeman was trying to get his horse to do something for us so we could take their photo. But in the end, I think his horse was trained for crowd control and he was very intent on herding us. I couldn't believe how tall the horses were, 16-17 hands? And I have no clue as to their breed. Eventually, our policeman had to give up trying to get us a proper pose and work the kinks out of his horse so off they went down the road. But, not before his horse made one more high-spirited prance at us. So, I grabbed my niece who was patiently waiting for the photo op and dragged her behind something to protect us from being "crowd controlled". While she wasn't afraid, I didn't want her laid up in the hotel after being kicked or knocked down by the horse. We still had 4 or 5 days left to see as many of Rome's treasures as we could.

And I like more mellow horses, like the one Marcus Aurelius is riding in his newly restored atrium (also at the Capitoline Museum).
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Parole Italiane del giorno:
1. quasi - almost
2. venerdì - Friday
3. cavallo - horse
4. cavaliere - horseman
5. amazzone - horsewoman (I'm not making this up, it's in the dictionary!)
6. ippica - horse racing
7. sella - saddle
8. fieno - hay
9. briglia - bridle
10. morso - bit


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