Roses cascade down ancient stone walls and lilies open to the pathway, their scent permeating the humid garfagnana air. I walked down the steep overgrown steps, through the gardens into the valley this morning. A light warm rain met the meadow mist and made everything shimmer with dew. Poppies and mint and tall blue grass all beckoned me to find an old path to the river. Ruined bits of stone pieced together centuries ago led me to a forgotten hollow. I half expected to find Queen Susan’s chess set there.
Today we took a trip to the market for fresh local produce. I bought Limoncello (my favorite lemon liqueur) for a tenth of what it costs back home. Nutella, biscotti, the makings of margherita sandwiches…and beautiful tuscan peaches.
On a whim Beau and I drove up the steep hills to the tiny medieval town that overlooks our valley. The forest was magic and mystery; it had to be traversed. A thunder storm was rolling through and little rivers were cascading down on the road. It looks, feels, and sounds like a jungle. Loud birds and warm air and lush florals. Over rickety looking stone and wood bridges we walked up the wet cobblestones to the lookout. Little veggie gardens with perfect rows of tiny plants and sweet potted flowers lined the path. Bright shudders and peeling stucco dressed the tiny buildings all huddled together in an embrace at the the ledge of the mountain. At the top there was an old church and a courtyard overlooking the hills far below. Mists gathered in the low valleys, parting to show the tops of orange tiled roofs, tiered orchards and vineyards, and fruit trees overgrown into huge wild canopies.
Can such a place truly exist? Or will I awake with nothing but the mists left in my brain?