Thursday, July 13, 2006
I must admit I didn’t expect much in the way of flora from sunbaked Southern Italy, but my usual ignorance led to a very pleasant surprise.
I learned that the Italians are great lovers of the trellis, the arbor, and the pergola, that the fragrances of jasmine and wisteria would follow us almost everywhere, and that lush flowerings could emerge from rocks and cliffs.
Hard to say what’s perennial and what’s annual in this climate (see, my ignorance persists), but at showplaces such as the Villa Rufolo and the Villa Cimbrone, both in Ravello, I saw very picturesque groupings of palms, shrubs, and common potted varietals. It just doesn’t seem necessary to make too much of an effort her; the backdrop does it all.
Nonetheless, we delighted in being able to pick lemons at will (though didn’t really have much use for them) and in walking under canopies of bougainvillea. Lots of trumpet vine too, which made my usual pitiful sun-starved show of it look as pitiful as usual.
We loved the trip. One thing though: they really should do something about all these crumbling properties. Calling them ruins and asking for an entrance fee—whatta scam.