The zucchetto (Italian: "small gourd") is a small, hemispherical, form-fitting ecclesiastical skullcap, worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church [cardinals wear scarlet ones - Wolsey in "the Tudors" always wore his; the pope's is white].
In the Catholic tradition, the zucchetto is most commonly made of silk or polyester fabric. The design utilises eight triangular panels that are joined to form a hemispherical skullcap. Jutting from the centre of the zucchetto at the top is the "stem", known as stirpis or stirpes. It is made of a twisted loop of silk cord and is meant to make the handling of the zucchetto easier. The stirpes is the primary visual distinction between the zucchetto and the Jewish kippah.