The Vaca Mora
Steam trains carrying passengers through the province of Vicenza were once referred to as “Vaca mora” (the Black Cow).
Such a peculiar name requires an explanation: wealthy men once used to pay their wives’ vacations in Asiago, to spend a week skiing.
Their wives were taken care of during the week by local skiing teachers, whereas their husbands would be dwelling home working until the weekend.
On Saturday, when the husbands would finally catch the Vaca Mora train to climb the mountain and reach their wives, a hilarious engine driver placed a piece of iron on the train’s funnel, so that the smoke coming out of it would branch off in two directions, looking like horns…
From “Ferrovia a cremagliera Rocchette-Asiago” by Chiericato and Gasparella - Asiago, Edit. Bonomo, 1995, p.78