Sunday, June 6, 2010

ROME: BASTION OF CULTURE with cruelty behind the scenes

Horse-drawn carriages in Rome are a common site. Called by the pretty name "Botticelle" - this trade is anything but. They are a vile group that does not obey the weak laws and like in many other cities, they almost get away with murder.

We recently received these photos of the interior of one of the stables. While NYC stables are bad, in comparison they look like the St. Regis. The only good thing is that the stalls appear to be on the first floor. The stall is very narrow and make shift. It is a fire trap ... and it is filthy. There is no turnout. It is hell in Rome for horses.

Also included here are pictures of the typical hack line where the drivers pick up tourists, a frightened horse; a driver using his cell phone .... in NYC, automobile drivers are not allowed to use a cell phone -- carriage drivers are exempt because they are not required to have a NYS drivers' license; a horse foaming at the mouth; typical tack on the horse; and the horrible accident in November 2008 in which Birillo was killed and left on the pavement for several hours.

TOURISTS: if you go to Rome, please spend your time going to its wonderful museums, restaurants, shopping, touring the city and its historical ruins, etc. etc. etc. But PLEASE do not take a carriage ride. If you do, you will be supporting cruelty.