The recent photos of His Holiness wearing his cappello romano has gotten a few people excited and curious. Some have even opined that now more clerics will obtain their own hat, of the appropriate color, of course. Well, I have had mine for a long time now. Here are photos.
I am merely holding them, since I was not otherwise properly dressed to wear what the Romans call either a il saturno or variously la padella (“frying pan”). You really need to be in a cassock for the use of the cappello romano and possibly, if you are a seminarian (once upon a time) a soprana or ferriaolietto, which I also have.
There was a custom of shaping them to have three points, almost like a tricorn, or giving the sides some curve, as the Holy Father recently did.
Here is the summer, or warmer weather hat:
Here is the winter, or colder weather version, which is I believe from rabbit fur.
I know a couple shops in Rome where clerics can still obtain a saturno. I suspect it will now become a great deal easier to find them. All things traditional are coming back to the shops in Rome. This is a trend that had been happily going on for some time. However, at the time I got my flat hats, they were hard to find. I got mine at what has become my regular hat store in the late 80′s. The owner of the shop, an old man then who has now passed the shop to the next generation, had to go back into their storage area to look. He brought out a dusty box with a hat from the reign of Bl. John XXIII. Here is a snap of the inside of the hat with the coat of arms or stemma of the Pope.
One other thing. The Holy Father’s hat, if you look closely, has small cords from the crown to the rim. This is much in the northern European style, as used in Beligium for example. I have one of these also, but can’t put my hands on it just now. The purpose of the cords was to help the hat keep its shape even when wet from the rain, etc.