Most people knew his opinions and deeply respected them.
He was different from other landowners in what he wore, how he carried himself, in his lively and proud gaze, that of a true Tuscan. In those days the land gave life to everyone, but he knew very well that relying on the land alone could often play dirty tricks.
Like the peasants, he rose early and was the last to return home, but he had studied with the best teachers, because his father and grandfather too knew that to keep careful accounts and to use your brain were more important than to be able to predict a storm.
To tell the truth he could do that too: people used to come from neighbouring villages to ask his advice, his intervention or, simply to hear him speak.
Together with the lawyer, the podestà, the doctor and the parish priest he sat around the huge fireplace in the spacious living-room of his home to enjoy wild bore cooked in wine: together they planned the future of the community’s land, often worried by the attraction the city held out for the young farm labourers, but at the same time anxious to participate in the onward march of progress.