It’s wild boar hunting season here, and that means that twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, we have to be very careful where we go for our camminate (walks) as it’s not just the cinghiali (boars) that might get shot, those hunters use some pretty serious hardware to bring down their quarry. Luckily as we live next door to one of the hunters he can usually tell us where they will be doing their battuta (beat) so that we have less chance of being shot!
The contadini (farmer/peasants) have always seen the chinghiale as destructive, and in fact with their large tusks set on a powerful head, and weighing in at between 100 – 200 kg (220 – 440 lbs) the wild boar can do a lot of damage to crops, vineyards, stone walls etc. as they root around for nutrition.
But it has been the reduction of their habitat together with the virtual extinction of their natural predators that has pushed the cinghiali out into agricultural areas.
Wild boar with a hearty red wine like Guturnio takes some beating
In fact within their natural habitat, i boschi (the woods), cinghiali have a beneficent effect. Their large tusks are used not just in self-defense but also to excavate for the roots, insects, and even small animals that make up their diet, and it’s pretty awe inspiring to see an area that has been ploughed up by these creatures, almost like someone has been at it with an industrial digger! This rooting around helps to bury seeds and destroy harmful insects thereby nurturing the woodland.
Below: Boar ruts
The cinghiale has a thick bristly hide with few blood vessels. This helps to protect it from injury and infection in the Macchia Mediterranea (the typical scrubby Mediterranean vegetation) and from the bite of animals such as the viper. The males in particular have a thick layer of protective fat, especially in the mating season when they frequently fight with their rivals, (men huh!). The female excavates a tana (den) and camouflages it with bushes and other vegetation, rearing her young in February and March. She usually gives birth(in Italian we say dare alla luce lit. give to the light) to between two and four cinghialini (little boars), but in a good year she can have up to eight, what a handful!
The usual social structure of the cinghiale consists of branchi (packs) of females: the mother and her new babies plus those born in the previous year. The young males leave these packs after two years and live a solitary life or join up with other small groups of males (sort of a men’s club) until the mating season.
- Il Cinghiale in Italia (The Wild Boar season now in Italy) (gustoitalia.wordpress.com)
- Steven Rinella: Wild Boar Hunting In Hawaii (huffingtonpost.com)
Visit our Help Centre and find answers to your questions »
(all prices are expressed in euros)The 3 Kings day is an ever popular tour – with 3 top DOP destination Ham Cheese Balsamico – full Michelin Gourmet Lunch, Malvasia Wine tasting, finish around 4.00pm in Reggio All tours are customisable
3 Quality Destinations Budget Tour for couples
– cost savings on the Light Lunch option: Buy yr own WTG
3 best DOP destinations Ham Cheese Balsamico & Tastings – finish 3.30pm in Reggio
Tours are customisable