The Americans think of course that they have the exclusive right to the cowboy, but the Tuscan region Maremma has its own kind of cowboy: il buttero.
The name buttero derives from Latin, so it’s safe to say that these brave men (and women now too) have been in the saddle a lot longer than their American colleagues.
The butteri are responsible for the herds of cattle and in the old days they spent a big part of their lives outside in the rugged landscape of the Maremma. Nowadays, there are not so many butteri left who work full-time, but the tradition is proudly maintained by a growing number of enthusiasts.
During my visits to the Maremma I unfortunately never encountered any butteri but yesterday a few fine specimens rode around in the park Le Cascine during the Rural Expo.