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La Primavera! Posted by on Mar 31, 2009 in Italian Language

The 21st of March was the official beginning of Primavera (Spring), and as the proverb goes: ‘a San Benedetto una rondine sotto il tetto’ (for Saint Benedict a swallow under the roof), because in the Italian calendar the Saint for the 21st of March is San Benedetto, and when the swallows appear it’s a sign that spring has arrived. But this year the swallows haven’t appeared yet! Nevertheless la Primavera e’ in piena fioritura (Spring is in full blossom), and because we had a very cold winter and a lot of brina (frost) in February, the flowers that are normally early are late this year, so that everything seems to be coming out at the same time: the bright yellow pompons of the Mimosa are giving way to the white blossoms of the Ciliegi (cherry trees) and the Susini (plum trees). The fields are covered in Primule (Primroses), whose pale yellow color counterbalances the purple of the Viole Mammole (Dog Violets) and Crochi (Crocuses), whilst bunches of Elleboro (Hellebores) sprout all along the hill sides.

When walking through our orto (vegetable garden) we become inebriated with the perfume of Giunchiglie (Jonquils, a small variety of white narcissus or daffodil) and Narcisi (Narcissus or daffodils), whose bright yellow trumpets stand proudly next to the blue of the wild Giacinti (Hyacinths). In private gardens and parks the Camelie (Camellias) are displaying their beautiful round flowers in a rich variety  of nuances, from blood red to the most delicate pink. The first timid Farfalle (Butterflies) are venturing out, together with a few Api (Bees), while Lucertole (Lizards) are darting up and down the stone walls. The air is filled with il cinguettare degli uccelli (the twitter of the birds) busy preparing their nidi (nests).

Following the amenti (catkins), le gemme (buds) are timidly popping out on the branches of the trees, creating a pale green mist on the horizon against the vivid azzurro of the sky, while the bright green erba (grass) is shining new and fresh after yesterday’s rain which has regenerated the landscape after the long winter.

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Comments:

  1. ann:

    Thank you agaen for all the info. What do you know about ‘slow cooking’ (Using more variety, in season, organically grown food using the old tried and true cooking methods ) that you see being advocated in Italy?
    I will be in Rome for 3 days at the end of Oct. Any ideas for this short stay? Also prior to that on a Med. cruise I’ll be a few days in Venice, Florence, Messina. Any comments. At 70 this is my first trip. Looking forward to it.

  2. Serena:

    Gentile Signora Ann,
    Thank you for your interest in my blog. I’ll write a post about the “slow food” movement in the near future.
    About Roma, I’m an archaeologist, so I personally love going to the Palatino, the Etruscan Museum of Valle Giulia, and the Pantheon. But I wouldn’t miss Piazza Navona and Piazza di Spagna with Trinita’ dei Monti, without forgetting the many “piazze” with fountains and obelisks scattered around the City. And of course Piazza San Pietro and the Musei Vaticani.
    Buon Viaggio!

  3. Klaus Schober:

    I spend a lot of time in blogs, but not one of them is as manifold as this one.

  4. Serena:

    Salve Klaus! Thank you for the compliment.

    Cordiali saluti da Serena


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