I will spare you the details of my education from primary through high school (although I was quite a good student!) After high school, despite the fact that I was attracted to the Natural Sciences, I compromised with my parents, whose eternal desire was to have a physician in the family; consequently, “We” decided to study Biology (a major which was to open doors for me in the world of work – supposedly!) and in 1994, having followed the maxim “slowly but surely” I graduated and – who knows how or why – with honors, though sparing me the legendary “academic kiss.”
A few changes in my life occurred in the meantime; in 1993, a certain Elisa had come into my life – and my home - and seeing as she was both working and studying, I could hardly be a kept husband, so I became a jack of all trades, driving a bus for disabled people, bartending, being an instructor for outdoor activities, all the while seeking the right career path to follow. Perhaps I sought too enthusiastically, for I found more than one: in 1996, I both founded Proeco, a game and wildlife management office with three friends, and the Molinello agriturismo. At Proeco I dealt with all aspects of game and wildlife management, from those regarding hunting (game censuses, damage prevention, zoning, game hunting areas) to those inherent to conservation (plans for park and nature reserve management) and lastly nature tourism, after having earned the qualification of Nature Tour Guide in 1999.
For 4-5 years, I tried to juggle both businesses, gritting my teeth. I then looked myself in the mirror- and looked hard at my newborn daughter Emma, and asked myself if that was really the life I wanted. Although reluctantly, I left Proeco to dedicate myself full-time to the Molinello (and to diaper-changing). The years between 2000 and 2005 could be called “Sandro's red period” (although to be truthful it was also a bit green). Red like wine and green like olive oil, for those were my twin passions in those years. I was both driven to study and learn about them and to share what I had learned with others through teaching. During this period, I began to study towards the certification of sommelier through AIS, which I received in 2004, and it was through this organization that I became acquainted with the Slow Food Association, attending many of the Master of Food courses organized by the Siena chapter (wine, oil, cheese, beer, spirits) and, once named chapter leader of the Crete Senese Convivium, organizing others myself.
All that good wine must have gone to my head, because in 2004 I went back to school yet again, enrolling in a Master's program on winegrowing at the Università di Siena, which ended with a wonderful internship at San Polino, a biodynamic farm in Montalcino. It was time for a change, for something new, and looking around, I decided to try my hand at the world of winemaking, albeit perhaps without sufficient determination, first at an important winery: the deal seemed done, but then it vanished (in hindsight, a blessing), and later even interviewing for the position of director of the Italian Enoteca, which went quite well, but let's just say I wasn't the “predestined” candidate. In 2007 I entered into my “2-wheeled period.” This is not to say that I hadn't loved cycling before then, but up until that year it had occupied a “normal” position in my life. From 2007 on, instead, in addition to being part of my life in terms of sport, fun, and travel, it became a tool for my career, as I began to collaborate with Ciclismo Classico as a tour leader. Over these last several years, I have led tours in many regions of Italy and even abroad in Andalucia, where I took up Spanish language lessons for fun. It has given me the opportunity to travel and meet a great number of bright and fascinating people. And here I am today, curious to see what life has in store for me next...