This morning we all rode to Montalcino, 13.8 miles with an elevation gain of 1850 ft. Montalcino is another village famous for its local wine, Brunello. Not for me in the morning. On to San Valentino, 27.3 miles and over 2500 ft of elevation gain. The usual protocol is for a rest stop after about 10-12 miles. After reaching the town we had a long, leisurely lunch at the restaurant San Valentino.

Leaving a rest stop. Note snacks and support van.

After lunch I took the shorter route to Casabianca, 15 miles, 1620 feet of elevation gain and checked into Aciano, an agricultural estate situated on the ridge separating the Chiana Valley from the Crete Senesi with its chalk hills. That evening we had an olive oil tasting followed by a Tuscan cook-out.

Traditionally included in the meats grilled in the cook-out is cinghiale, wild boar. The hunting of the cinghiale is an old tradition. To join the hunters, one must take and pass courses in the use of weapons, recognition of various animal species, emergency procedures including first aid. Once the examinations for these skills are passed a person can obtain a hunter’s license. Only then are you allowed to purchase a firearm. Hunters are allowed to pursue their game anywhere including jumping locked gates, over fences or scaling a wall into private property.