“LA CINTA SENESE”
This breed of pigs, which has lived for centuries in the woods between Florence and Siena, was originally completely slate-grey.
One day, during one of the many historical disputes between the two cities, two feudal lords of opposed factions ended up quarrelling over a pack of these pigs…
According to the legend, the servants of the two masters grabbed these animals by the ears, either by their hind legs or by the tail trying to get them into their stables.
But the servants, chosen among the strongest men of the factions, had more or less the same force. Thus, pulling from one side to the other, so much the body of these poor animals was stretched that their skin ripped at the shoulders showing white-pink flesh below, as you can still see.
Is this story true? Who knows!
Nowadays a discussion on the origin of the “Cinta” is still going on among Siena and Florence breeders of this ancient native pig of our Chianti countryside.
For centuries the highest point of the property of Massanera at Chiesanuova di San Casciano Val di Pesa was the location of an enormous cypress tree the trunk of which was so large that it required three men to encircle it. The cypress had a round shape as it had been repeatedly “trimmed” over the centuries by bolts of lightening.
All the boys of the village had attempted, at some time or other, to climb onto it with the aid of ropes or ladders, but nobody, including myself, had never managed to get to the top.
People believed that anyone managing to do so would have profaned the tree and would have faced a violent punishment…
This “Cipressa” was so old and so popolar, that it was even marked on military maps as a reference point.
It was a point of reference to the people of Chiesanuova that used to come to Massanera from the road leading to the villa, then turn to the Cipressa and return the country to a path called the “Pratella.”
One night at the bar of the village, which in these parts is called “Appalto”, two young, tall, blondish, men came with two bikes loaded with all sorts of good things.
They came from far away, from the North, from the areas of the Alps. Someone says they were Germans, others says they came from Veneto. However, their Italian was very different from ours and when they spoke to each other you could not understand what they were saying.
It was the end of March 1970 and at The Appalto’s people used to talk about the Cipressa and how many had attempted to climb it without reaching it, and bet that no one would ever succeed, and even so … etc.etc ….
The two men listened, seemed amused and guzzled down glasses of wine one after the other. Then one of them turned to a young Chiesanuova asking – “…. where is this Cipressa?”.
“it’s there!” – Said the young man point the tree – “We climb mountains, it would be easy for us ….!” “Bravi!” – The boy said.
The Appalto closed and the two, rather full of wine, lingered outside the bar to chat next to bicycles.
The next morning, at dawn, the whole village was awakened by a tremendous roar. No one realized what had happened.
People rushed out of their houses. An intense scent of cypress resin filled the air.
The Cipressa was gone. Disappeared, evaporated. Only a large piece of wood flying over the roof of the villa Massanera farther than 100 meters stuck in the garden located just a few steps from the farmer who had left the house a few moments before.
Many say that it was a bolt from the blue.
In fact, only a lightning could completely destroy a tree like that.
For several days the bikes were left in front of the tree outside the Appalto No trace of the two boys.
Then one day even the bicycles disappeared…