Morning sunshine beamed down on the Tuscan valley before me. The first few days of my visit here had been rainy, so this was my first proper glimpse of the hills I’d dreamed so long of seeing, gently rolling across the horizon in soft shades of green and autumn brown, kissed by the bright blue sky above. I took a deep breath. The crisp fall air smelled faintly of harvested vineyards, wood smoke-and death.
Suddenly, dogs began barking in the distance. Many dogs. Their yelping intensified. Human voices yelled out. Male voices, Italian voices, loud voices. The dogs were now frenzied. More shouting. A gunshot. Then another, then a flurry of them. More barking and yelling, this time triumphant.
Our guide, who’d climbed a small tree by the side of the path to get a better look in the direction of the commotion, glanced down at us briefly, but he didn’t explain the noises. He didn’t need to. We were, after all, on a wild boar hunt. We were experiencing just what we had come for.
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