Embrace the Essence of Italian Bliss

A Journey to Serenity and Simplicity

An Afternoon of Tuscan Heat

An Afternoon of Tuscan Heat

Lying on the hammock under the pergola, overflowing with grape clusters still awaiting their turn to turn violet, my hair in a chignon and my hands sweaty, I read, for the third time, one of my favourite books: “Mabinogion”, a collection of Welsh literature manuscripts.

The sky in front of me appeared hazy from the heat, and the scorching sun of early afternoon set the surrounding fields ablaze. A few drops of sweat slid from my forehead and landed on the scorching pages of my beloved book.

With such oppressive heat, not even the animals were in the surroundings, and the ants moved slowly over my slippers laid out on the grass. Only Milly, the cat, kept me company, sprawled out on the ground like an old rag.

That afternoon, I was alone. My sister, mom, and dad had gone to Uncle Gabriele’s to do the preserves, and my friends, who used to visit me almost every weekend during the good weather, were all on vacation. “Having fun” they said. In those places where normal people, crowded together, try to tan as quickly as possible to achieve that coveted status symbol in the metropolises.

But I liked to stay there, amidst the land, breathing the genuine air of life’s simple things. In the summer, however, the countryside can be tough: you have to get up early and take care of the plants (or they wither), constantly clean the flowerbeds to eliminate the weeds, weed, and many other little tasks that can become exhausting for those not used to it. But after every effort, the reward comes, and to reciprocate our love and dedication, Mother Nature gives us splendid tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, onions, zucchinis, salads… and many other vegetables that are ready to go from the earth to the table, fresh and sun-kissed. Not to mention the aromatic herbs, the cure for every ailment, as Grandma used to say, which my sister and I would gather and dry to prepare our remedies and herbal teas to consume in winter.

For me, happiness is this. Living according to the relaxing rhythms of the seasons, strolling through the vast wheat fields with the stalks caressing my calves, listening to the rustling of the trees, and observing how the leaves slowly begin to turn golden, heralding autumn. I rejoice every time I hear the chirping of cicadas in the hottest hours of the day, the song of crickets, and when I watch the fireflies that begin to cover the garden from dusk.

The blurry silhouettes of my mother, father, and sister crossed the beaten dirt path and moved slowly and swaying toward me. They were laden with bags overflowing with vegetables, fruit, and jars of preserves, so I approached to lend a hand, particularly to my mother, as poor thing, due to my father’s stubbornness about not using the car, always had to walk even when it was fifty degrees in the shade outside!

Among all the goodness, there was a bag with one of my favourite legumes: broad beans, perhaps the last of the season, and I immediately volunteered to clean and prepare them, so I could taste them on the spot, freshly picked, green, and with the scent of the earth, while I enjoyed the last hours of light before the stars arrived.

I remember that one day, when I was about ten years old, Aunt Gilda told me that broad beans were a very ancient food, but they didn’t have much success in Greece because they were surrounded by “a macabre reputation”. In fact, due to their shape, which reminded some of a human head, it was believed that these beans housed the spirits of the dead. I never bothered to find out if the ancient Greeks really thought so, or if it was just another of Aunt’s stories, but dead or not, they were still a delight to me!

The day slowly faded until it gave us the sunset. That serene hour, suspended between light and darkness, where every shape becomes a silhouette, and the sky is tinged with enchantment. That moment of the day when God, as if wanting to apologize for our hardships and sorrows, pours his love into the world and scents the air with infinite sweetness before putting the colors to sleep.

And I remained there, looking around, immersed in that infinite moment where everything feels eternal.

From The Heart Of Italy My Gift For You (Free Download)

Tuscany Slow Living Inspiration

Experience the magic of Tuscany in your everyday life with my FREE PDF guide:

Tuscany Slow Living Inspiration: Heal Your Life and Embrace Quietness

This printable digital book is designed to help people organize their daily lives while embracing the slow living philosophy.

It includes prompts for journaling, Tuscan quotes, mindfulness exercises, and informational sections about Tuscan culture, cuisine, and traditions

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