Yesterday, I came across these two keychains in my jewelry box. They were given to us by a family in Agerola, Italy the night we ate at their restaurant. We went to Agerola to see the village where my step-father’s ancestors came from. We stopped at the first restaurant we came to and met these fantastic people, who treated us as if they had known us their whole lives.
They engaged us in a little game in order to win a prize, which turned out to be the keychains; Ed got the heart and I got the Italian horn. It’s just beautiful in person. Heavy, made of metal with a shiny enamel coating and a band of rhinestones around the top. The chain and the ring on it are also very sturdy. I have no fear of losing it.
The Italian horn, known as the Cornicello or Corno in Italian, is something that I’ve grown up knowing about, many of my extended family wore them. Never my immediate family though, I think my mother and father thought them to be too "guido". In ancient Italian culture, it was said to be protection against mal occhio, the “evil eye”. Many considered it a good luck charm. I think the guys in my family, and the other Italians I knew, wore it as more of a fashion statement, a jewelry staple, a display of their “Italian-ness”.
Now that I have come across it again, it’ll be dangling from my ignition on a daily basis. Since I have no evil eye to ward off, I’ll just use it as a general good luck charm. Too bad we weren’t using it in Rome the day we got our traffic violation.
Read more about the Italian Horn here.