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The Corazzieri

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Una immagine dal libro Arma dei CarabinieriThe tall Carabinieri of the Corazzieri Regiment are those who, possibly more than any other, embody the vocation of the Corps to be “modern by tradition”. Seeing them engaged with their uniforms - in use since 1876 - on solemn occasions at the Altar of the Homeland on Republic Day or during visits of foreign heads of state, may actually seem like being cast back in time. But under those helmets with long tails and silvery armour there are professionals from many different expertise and backgrounds: from bomb disposal experts to sharpshooters, from paratroopers to martial arts champions. Not everybody knows from their stern and imposing figure that these Carabinieri carry out tasks that go even beyond the impressive escorting services, performed on foot or horseback. Their main responsibility is to physically protect the President of the Republic and his official guests, while ensuring the safety of the entire Quirinale Palace, hence the need for perfect and constant training of the uttermost standards.

It is not easy to become a Corazziere. In addition to the physical requirements (a harmonious build and a minimum height of 190 cm.) and unquestionable personal integrity, they need to possess excellent disciplinary and service records. Great equestrian and riding skills are quintessential to be able to ride the Regiment's well-bred Irish horses which, like their riders, are considerably tall (170 cm. at the withers), and to  drive the imposing “California” type Moto Guzzi, widely used in the honour service. Moreover, the long work shifts, served standing in absolute stillness, require uncommon physical strength and, above all, responsiveness and promptness in order to guarantee discreet and effective protection.

The headquarters of the Corazzieri Regiment is the historical barracks Alessandro Negri di Sanfront in Rome.