Green November in Italy

There was a time when I didn’t like November. In fact, I used to dread it.

Growing up in northern Wisconsin, November meant the onset of cold, short days, with a weak sun struggling to peek through bare trees. There, in the far north, November is a bleak, colorless landscape – only browns and grays. For me, it was always a difficult month because I experienced long bouts of (what my mom called) “the blues”.

Little did I know, at the time, that a different kind of November would one day replace my dreary memories with new ones – alive with color.

Here, in the heart of Italy, November is full of life. The autumn rains work their magic in the fields, and the new grasses and grains are greener than springtime.

Not all the hardwoods lose their leaves, and the ones that do are painted in yellows, oranges and reds. Set against the background of a clear, blue sky they are stunning.

Of course, the weather gets colder and the days grow shorter, but the sun still shines brightly from its lower position in the sky, creating deep, dramatic shadows.

On some days the fog sets in, and behind colorful vineyards the rolling hills fade into a misty landscape.

Of course, medieval villages add drama to the autumn scene. From a distance, castles are surrounded by greens or autumn tones or fog – or all three. Up close, ancient windows and doors are adorned with brightly colored vines – so striking against the stone.

The setting make think of Horatio’s lines in Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill.

For me, it’s magical getting to know this different kind of November, one in which the “blues” have been replaced by so much color – particularly the vibrant greens.

Bellissimo novembre.


Pamela Haack is an author, specialized travel consultant and founder of Off the Beaten Strada where she creates and hosts custom retreats in central Italy, for travelers who wish to be immersed in the history, culture and traditions of the region.

Get your FREE copy of Pamela’s Italy Trip Planning Tips, plus her FREE weekly ezine filled with recipes, regional stories, practical travel tips and news from Off the Beaten Strada in the heart of Italy. Click here.


Add yours →

  1. Toni Alvarado 11/24/2012 — 3:15 pm

    What a beautfiul picture you’ve painted in my mind! Wonderfully written!

  2. And what a beautiful comment! Thank you, Toni! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: