Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dutch Alpino

Older Dutchman watches the people at the Waterlooplein flea market in Amsterdam, 1971. The Dutch word for 'beret' is 'alpino'; taken -wrongly- from the Italian mountain troops who wore nothing like a beret. 
But then, the description 'Basque beret' is all based on a stupidity by Napoleon who thought the Basques were the inventors of the beret. 


  1. Actually the italian Alpini initially wore a kind of rigid "bowler" or derby hat with an "eagle" (turkey, actually) feather; than, after some experiment, they choose their now distinctive "alpine" hat. This was circa the beginning of the XX century.

    Nowadays, with the end of conscription in the '90s, very few Alpini come from the traditional zone of recruitments, and many of them don't feel any particular affection to the traditional headgear or any of the traditions of the corps... they like to be called "Rangers" and obviously imitate anything american, so it's not improbable that someday they'll end up really wearing a beret...

    even if the americans themselves don't seem to like berets that much! ;)

    ironically, the Alpine hat is more indeed more american, as it was partially inspired by the "slouch" or "campaign" hat of the american soldiers of the period...


    1. Thanks, Paolo. I always enjoy your comments!