short story – Rodeo (Pole Bending)

You must believe me!

About one month ago there was a rodeo show in Mutigliano, a very small place very close to Lucca: horses, cowboys, mud and sweat.

It was a pole bending rodeo (see at bottom to understand what I mean) in an equestrian center: cowboys and cowgirls challenged each other riding horses trying to bend all the poles as fast as they could.

I decided to try to follow the neat movements of the horse while its rider leads the gallop through the poles.

I invited a very famous “cowboy” for the sound track of my slide show, John Wayne!

So click below to enjoy (I hope) my audio slide show.


(from Pole bending is a timed event seen at gaming shows, college and high school rodeo, and various local equestrian events.

A rider and horse run past a timer line to the end of a line of six poles, then turn the end pole and weave down through the pattern, again turn at the last pole and weave back up, then run back home across the timer line. The fastest time will win.

The horse has to not only have speed, but also the agility to switch leads between every pole at a full out gallop.

The pole pattern consists of plastic poles that are set 21 feet apart and the timer line 21 feet from the first pole. The poles are 6 feet high and the base is no more than 14 feet in diameter. If a pole is knocked over, a 5-second penalty is assessed. Fast pole bending times are run in 20-21 seconds.


short story – Big Pidgeon

As you know, I live in Lucca but I work in Florence.

Florence is about 80 kms far away from Lucca, so every morning I’m used to drive my car for about 1 hour to reach the company in Florence, and every evening for 1 hour back to my home.

It’s boring, stressful and dangerous: italian highways aren’t a safe place, believe me!

So, every time I can I take a coach: more relaxing, you can read a book, watching a movie on your ipod, talking to someone.

But … waiting at the bus stop is annoying and there’s a lot of traffic noise and pollution: a day I took my camera with me and I tried to describe it.

Here is that slide show with audio: please take a look at the big pidgeon, “Paloma”, a bronze sculpture made by Botero on 1990.

In a world where human beings live in small boxes made with steel, plastic and glass, called “cars”, also a pidgeon must be artificial!


Italian: “La Paloma dello scultore Botero è tornata al suo posto originale: sull’aiuola davanti all’aeroporto di Peretola a salutare fiorentini e turisti che arrivano in città. La statua in bronzo, nota anche come “l’Uccellino”, dopo i lavori di maquillage ha riconquistato la sua posizione originaria sul piedistallo in marmo bianco di Carrara. La Paloma è stata realizzata nel 1990 in bronzo, pesa 1.500 chili è alta 240 centimetri e le sue dimensioni sono 215 X 155 centimetri.”