An Early Spring in Italy

We have now moved back from our winter care-taking of Peralta to our little house in the olive groves of Capezzano Monte, just in time for Spring which has sprung rather early in Italy this year, probably because of the very warm weather we’ve been having.  In December it was warm enough (well . . . for the English!) to go to the beach.  And through January we’ve had days around 16 degrees - up to 20 when the sun shines.  But we’ve had enough rain to last for several months.  The record was 300mm (30 cm - about 12 inches) in one night.  Another deluge last night and another due on Monday, but today the sun shone.  The wild plum tree on the terrace is in full bloom.

The Mimosa is also blossoming everywhere in drifts of yellow blossom and exquisite scent.

My English daffodils are coming out and in the olive groves the cyclamen are flowering.

Time for my landlord to prune the olive trees - an arduous and never ending job which he does in his very limited spare time.

The Italians work hard - Roberto has a full time job building - he works from 8am until 6.30 or 7pm every day, plus Saturday morning.  In addition he looks after his mother-in-law’s olive grove, and the small family vineyard. His sister and brother-in-law help when they can, but it’s hard work.  The children, sadly, aren’t interested, so a generation is growing up that won’t know how to make a living from this land.

Today I've had all the windows and doors open to air out our little house and scrub the floors and do a bit of spring cleaning.  Since mid-December we've only been here to feed the cats and check for leaks or storm damage, so the house was in need of a thorough blitz. Sadly, I'm also packing to return to England next Tuesday for some events related to the Norman Nicholson biography.  I think I'm going to need the thermal underwear, wellingtons and a sou-wester!!


  1. Thermals and waterproofs a good idea. A small boat could be handy too!

  2. Breathing a sigh of relief for you Kathy. The pictures are so evocative, But then you're back again! Not so cold here as long as you have the requisite layers. And the hedgerows are greening...

  3. Yes, its much the same here in our little bit of Chianti. However, we had a sudden hail storm yesterday so keep those delicate plants under cover!

  4. Thanks June! Yes, we keep getting thunder and hail storms. Quite vicious, but in between . . . bliss!
    Hope to be in touch when I'm back Wendy - it would be lovely to meet up again, though I don't have a car, which makes it complicated.


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