Thursday, August 18, 2011

Italy -- Out "Ovest" in Italia

An Italian cowboy at a ranch near Rome. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

A friend of mine told me the other day about how much he enjoyed a few days' stay this summer at a dude ranch in Italy -- Silver Creek Ranch not far from Parma.

I took a look at the web site -- and I think I may have to go try it out myself....I find that I already missed some interesting looking events in Italy.

Not to mention various other ranches and "wild western spaces" -- all seemingly linked to the horse-riding and competition community.

Italian Cowboys in the Wild West imaginario... Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

There's Seventeen Ranch, for example, which hosts a Ranch Academy -- this is run by Andrea (Drew) Mischianti, an Italian Cowboy whom I met some years ago when he worked at  the ranchlike Tenuta Santa Barbara ranch near Rome and was involved in organizing "western games" there -- these  included rodeo-style riding competitions as well as a variety of exhibitions, stands, etc. I was always planning to go there to see the working ranch -- on my cellphone I still have a text message from him announcing that there would be branding that I could visit. (It doesn't seem as if these games still go on.)

"Drew" Mischianti some years ago. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

He has spent much time out west in the U.S., and for awhile wrote a column for an Italian Western magazine called Western Side (which doesn't seem to exist any more). Now he edits his own cowboy magazine (in Italian) called Cowboy Journal, which runs everything from recipes to adventure tales.

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