Beware the first of September! – Paradiso Ceramics Australia | Handmade in Italy


Beware the first of September!

We woke up with a start. What was that loud bang?

It is the first of September in Umbria. It’s still early morning when we head downstairs and onto the terrace. As we admire the view, we hear dogs barking then a bang, then another, then another. This time, debris falls from the grapevine above us and we decide to high tail it inside in case Umbria has declared war on Tuscany.

Guests tumble downstairs to see what the noise is about and we remember our Italian friends warned us that hunting season officially begins on the first day of September. 

Despite being a Monday morning, the necessity to go out and get their first shot for the season ranks much higher than getting to work on time. Anyway, this is Italy.

Game is considered public property that you can hunt in most places, provided you have the appropriate license and materials, at least 100m from a house, and don’t damage crops. According to one source*, there are an estimated 800,000 regular hunters, mainly in Tuscany and Sardinia. For many, hunting is seen more as a way of life rather than a pastime.

Most hunting in Italy is done using shotguns and popular prey includes wild boar, rabbit, hare and many species of bird. One day we saw a colourful pheasant scamper up the track beside the house. Not long after, we heard a shot and two men walked past holding a dead pheasant. 😟

Be particularly concerned if you see a sign with something about ‘cinghiale’ scrawled on it; especially if you see one or two cars parked at odd angles on the recently ploughed land adjacent to it. This can mean only one thing … an official boar hunt is under way.

While hunting boar may offend our sensibilities, wild boar breed prolifically and cause untold damage to farmland and vineyards so their numbers need to be controlled.

Boar toys are common in tourist shops.

A boar hunt is quite a show really! Dogs bark, men in orange and camouflage vests shout and shotgun fire rings around the hills. This may continue all day unless the quarry is found quickly. If not, the dogs tend to lose interest and the men stand around smoking and chatting until it gets too hot to stay outside any longer or too dark to see.

One advantage of boar hunting is the delicious cinghiale meals found on traditional Umbrian menus and in delicatessens, such as wild boar ragu parpardelle and prosciutto. 

Wild boar or cinghiale is popular in a number of delicatessen items like sausage and prosciutto

So beware of walking through the fields and forests on the first day of September – or anytime during the official hunting season of September to end of February really. 


1 comment

  • Hello friends, your trip to Tas. sounds lovely. Well done. Congratulations on getting an outlet in Sydney for your ceramics. I hope they sell well. It looks like a nice store and good display. Just my type of gift shopping.
    Great photo of you both with the table – how special to own it. I remember the opening gambit by local blokes trying to get their early morning bag of cinghaile . . . and the stuffed cinghaile in front of a shop somewhere in Umbria. Lotsalove from Win M.

    Winifred Morgan Morgan

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