Rome’s horse drawn botticelle to move to parks

Botticelle horse by the Coliseum in Rome. Shutterstock image.
Botticelle horse by the Coliseum in Rome. Shutterstock image.

(ANSA.IT) ROME, ITALY — Rome’s famed ‘botticelle’ horse-drawn tourist carriages are to move from the streets of the Italian capital to its villas’ parks under a measure passed by the environmental committee on Tuesday, 25 September.

The move is set to be put to final approval by the mobility committee “within the first few days of October”, sources said.

“Among the key aims of the measure is to avoid all suffering to the horses, taking the botticelle activities to more suitable locations like parks and historic villas,” said the head of the Rome environmental committee, Daniele Diaco of the ruling anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

It will also be possible for drivers to switch jobs and apply for taxi licenses, he said.

Since no new botticelle licenses will be issued, the carriages may disappear if all 32 drivers apply to become taxi drivers.

Animal rights groups have long complained that the horses are subject to too much stress and strain on Rome’s hot cobbled streets.

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In pictures

Too much stress and strain? Hot cobbled streets? Yes, we agree. However, that’s only the beginning of what these horses suffer. Pictures say a thousand words. Look familiar?

Downed botticelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Downed botticelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Un cavallo a terra per un malore davanti a Palazzo Chigi, Roma 30 ottobre 2014. ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
Downed botticcelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Downed botticcelle horse, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Botticcelle horse suffering heat exhaustion, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Botticcelle horse suffering heat exhaustion waiting for his next trip, Rome, Italy. Source not cited.
Another distressed botticelle horse in Rome. Source uncited.
Another distressed botticelle horse in Rome. Source uncited.

Where do the horses live? The same type of miserable conditions, totally unnatural for a horse, as any other carriage horse in any other city. This is a worldwide system of abuse.

Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle), prepares his horse "Inventore" before a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome's historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle), prepares his horse “Inventore” before a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome’s historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle) and his horse "Inventore" arrive at the stable after a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome's historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.
Angelo Sed, president of the Romans horse-drawn carriage drivers (botticelle) and his horse “Inventore” arrive at the stable after a day of work on October 2, 2014 in Rome. The Botticelle are the traditional Roman carriages used by tourists to sight Rome’s historical center. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images.

We can’t use this image linked here without paying for it, but it shows what the typical stall looks like.

Ban Horse Drawn Carriages

Even with moving Rome’s carriage horses to park like settings, the horses will still be working in the same weather conditions, still living in the same crumbling buildings totally in situations totally unnatural to a horse, pulling heavy loads of tourists, and can still be spooked.

“Since no new botticelle licenses will be issued, the carriages may disappear if all 32 drivers apply to become taxi drivers.”

Here is the intended replacement for the horses.

Replacement cars for carriage horses in Rome, Italy. Imgur. Click to visit source.
Replacement cars for carriage horses in Rome, Italy. Imgur. Click to visit source.

This is the best we can hope for. However, what will happen to the horses? Turned into sausages no doubt, an Italian gastromic favourite.

Botticelle, historical carriages pulled by horses used for tourists in Rome, Italy. Wikimedia image.
Botticelle, historical carriages pulled by horses used for tourists in Rome, Italy. Wikimedia image.

4 thoughts on “Rome’s horse drawn botticelle to move to parks”

  1. The pain in their eyes is palpable. These pictures make me cry. Recently in Florence, I approached a driver and asked about the welfare of his horse, he showed me hay and water and made out he didn’t understand what I was on about – but he knew. One horse looked so exhausted and then he slipped and fortunately didn’t go down. Another horse had shoes on that looked wrong and likely causing the horse pain in his feet. Rome seems to be taking a step in the right direction but horse drawn tourist carriages need to be outlawed once and for all. The suffering of these horses is inhumane.

    Liked by 1 person

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