This article was published in the Chronicle of the Horse at the start of the pandemic (March 2020).
It’s been two weeks since Italy was put in quarantine to contain the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak. It’s an experience that I would compare to living through a war. But in this case, the war is a virus- and we can’t fight it with traditional weapons, all we can do is hunker down in isolation and hope the infections slow like they did in China.
I write this article sitting at the kitchen table; my colleagues and I were all sent home…
King Frederick of Swabia II chose the Murge plateau of Puglia to breed his destriers for a good reason.
Only the toughest horses adapted to the barren, rocky karst terrain — horses that went on to make formidable mounts in battle. The horses of the Murge were praised for their hooves. They were strong enough to carry an armored knight long distances without metal shoes (the kingdom stretched from Sicily to Jerusalem), which made them highly desirable.
Sensible and calm yet capable of maneuvering quickly once amidst the conflict, these horses were bred with local stock that had been raised…
The Neapolitan horse ( coursier napolitain in French, neapolitan courser in English, corcel napolitano in Spanish) was one of the most prestigious classical riding horses in the world.
The high stepping Neapolitan horse was one of the most elegant breeds ever developed in Italy.
During the 17th Century, these baroque horses were the height of fashion throughout Europe. Elite families took great pride in breeding horses throughout the renaissance period. The importance of these horses to Neapolitans is portrayed in William Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’. Nerissa speaks of the Neapolitan prince and Portia replies
“Ay, that’s a colt indeed, for…
Article originally appeared in Untacked August 2020
“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward: they may be beaten, or they may start a winning game.” — Goethe
Thirty-seven years ago, a group of Tyrolese farmers out drinking together came up with an ingenious idea to prevent the distinctive equestrian culture of the Tyrol from disappearing.
The group of men decided to organize a tournament in honor of a local hero: knight and minnesinger Oswald Von Wolkenstein, who rose to fame because of his extraordinary life and beautiful poetry. This real-life legend also happened to be a passionate horseman. …
In the words of US author Henry Miller: “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware… joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”
So there I was, living. Thundering along an expanse of brilliant white coastline, on the back of a jet black stallion. Sea spray stinging my eyes, and euphoria filling my soul.
Spain boasts incredible scenery, passionate people, food, wine, and so much more.
To the north of Valencia lies the Costa del Azahar, also known as the Orange Blossom Coast. It is one of the most beautiful expanses of Spanish coastline, where the…
Two animals are symbolic of the Maremma region between the Tolfa Hills and the marshes of Etruria: long-horned bulls and powerful bay horses.
Unlike the rest of Tuscany, this wild region remains a land full of legends. Local herdsmen known as butteri have tended the cattle on these marshes’ since Etruscan times. Cattle that roam free on the wide-open ranges, rocky slopes and orange-colored swamps.
The history of this land is linked to an indisputable spirit of survival and the butteri are representative of this struggle; with white shirts, moleskin trousers, and distinctive felt hats, these iconic horsemen step out…
Putting together a seriously good cheese plate, and pairing it with the right wines can be a wonderful endeavor that is both entertaining and social (if you choose to host a wine and cheese pairing event).
When it comes to wine and cheese pairing, the best way to discover what works is to experiment and let your taste buds take the lead.
Wine and Cheesemaking traditions have flourished for hundreds, even thousands of years. These two have a lot in common, so it is no surprise they pair so well together. …
Italian fashion is internationally celebrated as exotic, sophisticated, and romantic. Italians treasure their appearance and la bella figura (the belief in the importance of making a good impression), and if you would like to blend in while visiting Italy, then it is a good idea to follow some essential fashion etiquette rules.
The Italian fashion industry boomed considerably during the sixties and seventies, when designers such as Prada, Gucci, Armani, and Versace became household names. Italian fashion emerged first on a haute couture level following the Second World War.
Prior to World War Two, the international fashion industry was dominated…
Ancient Rome’s mysterious history has long captivated archaeologists and tourists alike.
The Roman Empire, at its pinnacle, was the most wide-ranging political and social structure in western civilization.
Food was imported from all around the empire to feed the population of the empire. The eating habits of ancient Romans was dictated by their social status. Wealthy Roman meals and dining practices were extravagant when likened to those typical of a peasant.
Affluent Romans could pay for the highest quality food and wine and enjoyed throwing lavish dinner parties that lasted for hours. …
Caterina di Medici was born in Florence on 13 April 1519. She was a member of the powerful Italian Medici family and became the queen of France through her marriage to King Henry II.
Her impact was notably felt in the French royal kitchens. The influential Italian queen is attributed for many gastronomical introductions between France and Italy — including bringing many Florentine dishes to the attention of Renaissance France.
The great-granddaughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent brought with her a cortege of Florentine chefs. …
Bonafide horse-girl and freelance writer based in Tuscany, Italy. Writing about Italian culture and horsey adventures. Find me @equestrianwriter on Instagram