Dusk crept across the valley as I sat on the stone bench overlooking the old meandering farm road below. Suddenly, I heard a snort somewhere to my left and immediately became motionless, listening intently. Then I heard multiple snorts and munching sounds to my right, coming from the nearby brush just beyond the road. Glancing back to the left, the first snorters came into view! (more…)

Wild animals are one of the most interesting aspects of living in the Italian countryside. When we first arrived here 10 years ago, we were mostly alone up on this hill. Surrounded by nature, we saw and heard it all: cinghiali, wild boar; fagiani, pheasant; lupi, wolves; volpi, fox; caprioli, deer; cornigli, rabbits; istrici, porcupines; lucertoli, lizards and many serpenti, snakes. Of course, the ucelli, birds are everywhere—a constant chorus of canzoni del bosco, wood-songs. (more…)