Hotel Villa le Barone, immersed in the Chianti countryside, does all it can to protect the environment. It has a rich biodiversity, among which a beautiful porcupine, a protected species, who invited itself into the pool!
The porcupine is a rodent, with a coat of sharp spines, or quills. A porcupine can have up to 30,000 quills. These very sharp spines, which can be up to 30 cm long, are a means of extraordinary defense. “Qui s’y frotte s’y pique”(“Rub on it and you get wounded”) was the motto commonly attributed to Louis XII King of France in the 15th century, whose emblem was a porcupine.
The porcupine goes out of its den at night and for several days he had, to our sorrow, visited our garden eating iris rhizomes (the roots of these lovely flowers). Porcupines, herbivores, love them! That night he decided to see what was going on around the pool, which was being filled up with water before the April 3 opening of Villa le Barone. To our surprise in the morning…the porcupine had fallen inside the half filled pool and could not get out of it! Our gardeners and other workmen who were that day on site had a lot of difficulty capturing the animal, putting him in a large container and then releasing it out of the fence … so scared was the porcupine that he ran away as fast as he could, throwing at us his muscular, bristling tail! It’s amazing how this animal can run fast! We hope that he will now stay away from our iris and from the pool and wander elsewhere! The porcupine is a protected species in Europe since 1988 and in Italy since 1974. Previously, farmers put traps to catch these unfortunate animals and to eat them! … It is supposed to be very good!
We hope that our porcupine will be gone when you come, but, whatever the season, you can observe a rich biodiversity at Villa Barone, a beautiful flora and fauna. And you can peacefully enjoy the pool and all other services offered here!