There is a garden

La Spezia is the city along the sea in Liguria where Luigi and I go once a month to spend time with his family.

The land where their home sits was given to his grandfather in the 1950’s as a form of payment due to him. Once stretching most of the way down the hill, over the years his grandfather built other houses, sold parts of the land and now his family just owns the home where his parents and grandmother live, as well as some of the apartments surrounding them.

However, along with the building, they also have a beautiful garden that sits below the balcony and it is quite a wondrous sight as the warmth of Spring brings it to life.

We stepped out in the garden last weekend during our visit where his 96-year-old grandmother, mother and niece were working away. His mother showed us around and with each plant, I was more and more amazed. There is an enormous amount of food growing there and so much of what we eat during our meals together comes from there. Cherries, lemons, nespole and figs. Onions, arugula, lettuce and carciofi. Rosmarino (of course, we’re on the sea) sage, basil and thyme.

To add to this abundance of food was the sight of four generations of Luigi’s family spending time together in the garden. Luigi and his mother chatting while his grandmother tended to the lettuce and his niece drew pictures of the plants she liked.

It was a sweet sight and I hope that as we spend more time there this summer, I will be more inspired to try and grow our own produce (or at least herbs and spices for now) in the near future!

Now for your first round of Italian:

  • Nespola – Medlar fruit, a mix between an apple and an apricot
  • Carciofi – Artichokes
  • Rosmarino – Rosemary

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