The furry fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters in animation, films, television shows, books, comic books and other pop culture genres. Although the tradition of endowing animals with human personalities and characteristics isn't exactly recent (take, for example, fairy tales which feature talking animals), the furry fandom in its modern form originated in 1980, when the term was coined at a science fiction convention. The first furry convention named ConFurence was held in the USA in 1989.
Italy's first furry convention, Zampacon, took place in late 2012. Basically, it was a New Year's Eve party organized by a bunch of furry fans who wanted to have a good time together. The event was held at a youth hostel near Bologna. It drew 31 attendees including three founders (the maximum number of attendees allowed had been set to 34, but some guests had to withdraw at the last moment). The programming included seminars, games, movie nights, and the New Year's Eve celebration with a mini-disco in the lobby and a firework show.
Zampacon's attendance has been steadily increasing ever since. Zampacon '14 was the first convention to welcome not only Italian furry fans but also guests from abroad (Greece, Slovenia and the USA). At the third convention, Zampacon's official mascots were introduced. They are a couple of furry characters named Dante and Beatrice after the characters from Dante's “Divine Comedy”. Besides, in 2014 the organizers introduced the convention's annual official theme for the first time, dedicating the event to science fiction.
Zampacon strives to offer a place for Italian and foreign furry fans to express their passion and discuss different aspects of the furry fandom. Unlike many other furry conventions which revolve around partying, relaxing and entertainment, Zampacon focuses mainly on the cultural and artistic side of the furry fandom, from writing and drawing to fursuit making.