The beauty of Zampugna is in it’s breathtaking countryside. A sense of calm pervades the very air you breathe, making you forget other things and never want to leave. Now and then you will hear a Church bell peal, see a fox shake the brush from it’s fur and slink into the forest, or a roe deer graze lazily in the early morning sun. Beauty abounds in this place which your eyes never tire of feasting upon. Sipping a glass of wine from the organic vineyard whilst eating olives and locally produced Pecarino cheese from nearby Il Caseificio Cuguzi is a delight in itself. Eagles soar overhead while hares chase each other merrily through the wheat fields and vineyards. In the distance you can glimpse the terracotta towers of Pienza or Montepulciano, with it’s impressive and beautiful Temple de San Biagio. Time stands still in this place and gives you a sense of reclaiming yourself.
Our host, Ricardo, is more than hospitable. Upon our arrival we are presented with a basket of delights, including bread, wine and pasta. Despite his many responsibilities as May approaches, he offers to show us his house nearby. Within the grounds lies a Church built by his ancestral grandfather. It houses the mummified remains of a Saint, given to him by Pope Clementine in the 18th Century. The girl, in her twenties, lies clothed in a red velvet gown. She was a teacher and saved the children in her care from attack, at the cost of her own life. Ricardo’s land is a reserve for the white truffle. His farmer, Giancarlo, has four beautiful ‘Truffle Dogs’, who bounce with excitement to meet us. Every November they are fed a strict diet and expertly search for the rare white truffle, an undertaking you can join if you are a guest between November and January!
This land is a reserve in more ways than one! Hunting is a popular pastime in Tuscany, yet Ricardo’s land is free from this particular sport. As a result a host of wildlife gather there, including Wild Boar. It’s a haven in so many ways.
Sunset at Zampugna.
The view from Ginepro Apartment, Zampugna.