One factor contributing to the apex predators’ presence is the fact that much agricultural land on the outskirts of Siena is no longer farmed.
It has reverted to scrubland, which provides a habitat for roe deer and wild boar and attracts the wolves, the mayor said.
There has been an increasing number of sightings on the outskirts of Siena, some 135 miles (220 kilometres) north of Rome, as the creatures nonchalantly pad along suburban streets.
The most recent sighting was in late January when a pair was spotted at Porta Camollia, on the northern edge of the Tuscan city.
They were seen by a motorist who did not manage to photograph them with his mobile phone. But he notified the authorities and officials found wolf excrement at the scene.
G. Monbiot will be along in a moment to tell us that the solution is to bring the bears back to attack the wolves.