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GUIDE TO ITALIAN LIVING

The Great Watermelon

The Great Watermelon

For Linus Van Pelt, the most hotly awaited moment of the year is “the advent of the Great Watermelon”. This is a subtle modification: in t...

Roses

Roses

"I may be shy, but Love gives me the courage to tell you that, ever since the day I first saw you, it’s always been May, and in May the world is...

The revenge of the tulips

The revenge of the tulips

Once upon a time, roses were the Italians’ most beloved flowers, the failsafe choice for every occasion. A birthday, an anniversary, for somethi...

Loving the cherry plum

Loving the cherry plum

In the Casentino area between Arezzo and Florence there is a wide valley, dominated by the castle of Romena on one side and the castle of Poppi o...

Che cavolo!

Che cavolo!

Who doesn’t think back to childhood and remember the wonderful smells of simmering cabbage? And the bitter taste in the mouth when we realised...

Olionovo

Olionovo

The calendar tells us that autumn starts on 21 September, but in the Tuscan countryside it really kicks off a few weeks later, when the last grap...

When tomatoes are green

When tomatoes are green

October shades into November, and one day is warm and the next cold. The sky might be bright blue, before it starts threatening rain. The table might ...

Bizzarria

Bizzarria

The fruit known as the Bizzaria has a truly extraordinary story, and it’s worth taking the time to tell it. Among the rarest of...

Summer: at last!

Summer: at last!

The hills swim with light and ripple with ears of wheat. With a constant, incantatory murmur, the yellows of straw and hay wave in the breeze beneat...

The poppies grow...

The poppies grow...

In Tuscany, May is the month of poppies. Perfect goblets of scarlet, silky petals; flowers at their most essential, with no secrets inside. They begin...

Time of the Wild Tulip

Time of the Wild Tulip

As I write, new colors are bursting up around Poggio Casciano: the bright green grass that carpets the entire landscape, the countless shades of sprin...

Practicing beauty

Practicing beauty

I’m not a big fan of Roberto Vecchioni’s music, but I find a disconcerting beauty in the few songs of his that I do like. I don’t su...

Discovering lost citrus


Discovering lost citrus


Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s reputation far exceeds the breadth, and perhaps also the depth, of his artistic output. The artist from Lombardy is one of...

The Autumn Table

The Autumn Table

The fall is a time of countless poetic definitions and romantic expressions, often associated with a pregnant pause in the happiness of the summer. Ce...