Primavera Italiana – Springtime in Italy

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers
Primavera Italiana by Italian summers photo by Claudio Assandri

Primavera Italiana by Italian Summers photo by Claudio Assandri

As winter finally sputters out, Italy starts warming with softer mediterranean breezes as a thousand varieties of flowers peep out of the luscious grass of its hills and fields. Everywhere in the little country villages and seaside towns wooden green shutters are opened and fresh laundry blooms colorful against the terra-cotta colored buildings. The smell of orange blossoms wafts softly, mixed with fragrant scents of Marseilles soap.

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers –  The plants are starting to spring back as the cooking smells drift through the village

It is now that Italians reclaim the outdoors as their natural habitat! Old wooden chairs are placed outside doorways in the alleys, as the Nonne, italian grandmothers trim basketfuls of veggies in the open air  while exchanging the latest village gossip. Cute restaurants start filling sidewalks with tiny checkered tables adorned with flowers.

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers –  You can smell the Marsiglia soap!

Everywhere birds chirp merrily as the poppies explode like crimson exclamation marks under the spring sun. It is around eleven-thirty in the morning that marvelous smells start flowing gently aloft and fill the little streets, curl upwards past the hanging laundry, and rise beyond the tiled rooves in a symphony of fragrances!

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers –  tables after the first Spring outdoor meals

Springtime in Italy means bundles of fresh flowers adorning Easter family banquets, where from north to south, regional traditional dishes make their triumphal entrance into the sala da pranzo ( the dining room ) as mothers and grandmothers proudly present the delicious entrees in vintage porcelains passed on down generations.

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers –  Antipasti: salame, smoked Provola cheese, Pecorino cheese, Fava Beans

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – Antipasti: Insalata Caprese- Caprese Salad

Crystal decanters or traditional enameled ceramic pitchers  hold different types of Vino, depending on the region. As the last bells of mid-day Mass chime out, a soft silence descends upon the little and not so little towns, punctuated by the tinkling sound of distant forks and the hum of table-side good-humored conversation… time for the Antipasti, the starters!

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers  – Antipasti: salame, smoked provola cheese, Italian green olives

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – Pasta: Penne ai Broccoli Siciliani:  Penne with Sicilian broccoli

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – Rigatoni al Forno ai tre Formaggi e Basilico: Oven-baked Rigatoni with three cheeses and basil! (delicious)

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers –  Fresh fava beans ‘le fave’…you eat them raw! …really!

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Swallows screech high in the blue and pigeons flap about and hop around the tiled rooves in search of a mate… as the Italian Spring blooms into growing splendor, at once, one understands a bit more of the magic behind Botticelli’s painting La Primavera

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers –  Cuuutsie little village street in central Italy!

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – Sant ‘Antonio, the protector Saint of domestic and farm animals

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers –  Lazy Italian cat after lunch (pranzo) time

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – All’s quiet after Easter pranzo

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – Walking after pranzo…Did you say something sweet again?!

As the breeze moves the white curtains and the nearby hills are revealed from where you sit at the table, you can take in a forkful of Rigatoni Al Forno  as your mind’s ear suddenly recalls Vivaldi’s musical piece, La Primavera… (remember to leave some space for the Penne with Sicilian Broccoli!)

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – Sheepy meadow,  Easter Sunday morning  on the way to pranzo

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers

Primavera Italiana Springtime in Italy by Italian Summers – Footsing through the daisies

This is the period that opens the good season, La Bella Stagione,  one longs to travel through Italy’s many and differently charming places, to dip into the Mediterranean Sea and taste the salty tang upon one’s skin.

Get ready, Italy has so much for one to see, feel, smell, taste and savor!!! And after the Italian Springs always come ITALIAN SUMMERS!