20 Jan 2015

Looking back, looking forward





As I haven't been taking photographs recently I'm sharing some more of our time in Italy last September and October.  In between work in the house and on the land we went out to places near the coast, although we didn't actually get down to any coastal resorts.

South Lazio is divided into the inland and the coastal regions and as one would expect, the climate, terrain and vegetation is very different.  From our province we have to drive through the southern range of mountains, the Lepini Mountains, to get to the coastal plain.  The main road from our provincial town is a fast one which then joins the north/south Appian Way and we can follow this or cross it and take the minor roads that have been constructed in a grid pattern alongside the canals that were constructed to drain the Pontine Marshes of Latina province.

This reclaimed agricultural land, some of which is at sea level, is now fertile land with plenty of water for irrigation and the produce grown is sent up to Rome markets. The constructed water channels improved the marshland, but when they were not maintained and stagnant water was not pumped out epidemics of malaria were frequent.  Mussolini used his programme of draining the marshes as a propaganda exercise, but then the area became ruinous once again during WWII; water channels were neglected so that they became brackish, farmhouses deliberately blown up as a strategy to hinder the progress of the liberation of Rome. It must have been an inhospitable place at that time.

These days folk who have bought land, especially those who have developed it seem to enjoy a good living. For our family it used to be a tradition to chose a large water melon from one grown in the fields and sold at the side of the road on our way back from a day at the sea with the children.


A hill town in the Lepini Mountains


The Appian Way which links Rome to coastal resorts such as Terracina and beyond.


L'Arca Ristorante, Priverno, S. Lazio





We took my sister-in-law and husband out for lunch to a restaurant in that area which is owned by a friend. Over the years we've seen the plants flourish and the whole area around the buildings become an oasis of greenery due to the abundant water supply that can be sprayed on the trees and grass.





This was an interesting shrub, although I don't know what it is. Do you have any idea? It had these orange balls that I think were seed heads.
* I found a photograph in the gardening book Cottage Garden written by one of my favourite gardeners, the late Geoffrey Hamilton. The shrub is called The Strawberry Tree (arbutus unedo).
Apparently it bears small, white flowers in the autumn followed by red fruit, which can be seen in my photo, including the pale orange dry seed heads.




On our drive in the area we passed this place selling mature trees. The olive trees looked amazing, but I suspect they're very expensive to purchase.


                This was a new roundabout in the middle of the grid system of roads and water channels                                        




35 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos Linda and an interesting bit if history. Congratulations on your anniversary coming up. We have our 40th at the end of this year, said we will do something and have already booked the hotel to a place we have been before and have loved. In the meantime we are coming back to England in June and meeting up with my niece and her husband which I am also joking forward to very much. It was lovely reading your post. Wishing you and Mr.P a very happy week.

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    1. Thank you Denise. You have two wonderful events to look forward to this year.

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  2. i love that appian way and the fruit trees are amazing.. you have the best of both worlds with homes in 2 different climates.. and so much beauty in both countries. we used to buy watermelons on the way to the beach and sit on the beach and eat them, then go rinse off the drips in the gulf... i had zero internet all day yesterday and what a shock that was and no TV or phone. YIKES

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    1. Water melons are very thirst quenching aren't they? The grandchildren love them although I'd rather have honey dew. Thankfully we have the television, which is Freeview. The phone is working so we can get through to a helpline for free.

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  3. It is indeed to look back on happy sunny times and I hope that you have lots this year, especially with your planned celebrations. I hope that they are especially great!! xx

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  4. Oh gosh, what amazing pics....I love the appian way and those seed heads, they look a little like tiny lychees....although I'm sure they aren't!

    Fifty years eh??? WOW!!! And your 70th? struth , that sure calls for something extra special....Glad to hear that your daughter is still on the mend!xxx

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  5. Thanks Dina and also for the suggestion about the plant with the orange balls. I picked a small branch to have a better look. The balls are made up of small dry flowers, probably seeds, but they fell to pieces in the heat and didn't travel well so I couldn't do anything with them.

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  6. Beautiful post, Linda.... I am always interested in your busy life---both in England and in Italy ---and keeping up with children/grandchildren... Sounds like you all meet yourself coming and going.... It would be nice to have two homes in two different countries --but I have a hard enough time just taking care of our ONE home here... ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Yes, our lifestyle with two homes can be complicated, but I've got used to it by now and happy that the priority is our life in England. Glad to hear from you Betsy.

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  7. Gorgeous Italy photos on these gloomy winter days and I enjoyed the story very much. Your life is really fully booked with two homes but it keeps you going. Hope you will have a wonderful sunny year with the upcoming celebrations.

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  8. Thank you Janneke It's good to think of 'sunny moments' in our life. We've had another lot of snow and it's quite deep again, not just a sprinkling.

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  9. What interesting history about the area. It's nice to see some sunny photos as we've got snow here today, it reminds me that winter won't last forever. Glad to hear that your daughter is on the mend, I took a tumble on the ice myself on Monday and my leg's a bit sore but it could have been much worse. Hope you've got your internet sorted out now, it's so frustrating when it isn't working as it should.

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    1. The snow has settled. At least this time we were more prepared for it coming our way. Do take care when out and about after falling and hurting yourself the other day. The internet problem seems to have settled down, thankfully.

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  10. Lovely post Linda and I think it's lovely looking forward as well as reflecting on sunny days of the recent past, Congratulations on this your 50th year of wedded bliss and also your upcoming 70th birthday. P x

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    1. Thank you Patricia. Lovely to hear from you.

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  11. Love your pictures of Italy, it's been years since we've been there. Glad your daughter is getting better.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this post and thank you for your good wishes.

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  12. Wow, 2015 is going to be a very special year for you both, Linda, and I hope your celebration plans come together. I'm glad yo hear that your daughter is recovering well. I always love your photos of Italy and its landscape and history. The mere name Appian Way gives me a real thrill. :-)

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    1. Good to hear from you and hope all is going well with the physio on your wrist. The Appian Way does capture the imagination doesn't it?

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  13. How lovely to see ohot's with sunshine on them!! I'm glad your daughter is getting better xxx

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    1. Thanks Diane. I expect the snow is as bad your way as it is here. Take care. Linda :)

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  14. How lovely to visit places in Italy with you here. The hill country reminds me a bit of the hill country we visited in France.
    Oh I do hope you plan something extra special for both your anniversary and your birthday. These milestones are so worth
    celebrating in whatever way that makes us happy.

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    1. Hello Marilyn. I'm pleased that you enjoyed seeing some more of the region of Italy I know well. I'm sure we shall arrange something special for our anniversary and my birthday as our daughters have been talking about it for some time. We shall probably have a celebration family party after our grand daughter has finished her public exams in May.

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  15. I love the pictures very much! I would like to learn Italian because I think it is a beautiful language. Have a lovely day!

    Sandra

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  16. Hello Sandra. I went to Italian classes when I first met my husband as I wanted to learn the grammar, but I'm still not a fluent speaker after all these years. I understand and get by when I'm with my husband's family. Thank you for following my blog and I look forward to getting to know you.

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  17. I can see why you enjoy your home in Italy, aside from your husband's family. The entire area looks very peaceful and serene. Congratulations on your upcoming 50th wedding anniversary.





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    1. Thank you George. We've plenty of time to arrange that 50th wedding anniversary celebration as it's not until June. Something to look forward to along with another trip to beautiful Italy.

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  18. Oh I have had a wonderful time wandering around your beautiful blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment iced at Chalky's . My husband and I share our lives between the Uk and Almeria in Spsin and love both aspects of our life too. Lastly I hope your daughter soon feels much stronger. Xxx

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    1. Thank you Linda for your visit, your kind comments and good wishes for our daughter. I've admired your creativity for some time, but now pleased to hear about your UK/ Spanish lifestyle.

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  19. It is so beautiful. We loved Italy when my daughter studied there last summer. In the desert here, I have a small olive tree in my yard, and it was expensive here too, because they grow so slow. But they are such beautiful specimens when they are large that I will wait and watch it grow. xoox

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    1. We have an olive tree sapling here in the UK too, which will only be an interesting ornamental compared with those in the Italian garden and olive groves.

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  20. HI there Linda!
    How are you? As usual your photos are GORGEOUS! Those are the most amazing trees, honestly... What beauty!
    I hope you're having a great weekend!
    Tammy x

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  21. Looking back always reminds us, in the long winters, that spring and summer will come eventually! How did you happen to be at the wedding of Mr. P's brother where you met him?

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    1. We're looking forward to the Spring aren't we?! I met Mr. P. at his sister's wedding. She had come over to live in England in our home town along with other relatives and friends including her future husband (from the same village). Mr. P.'s half brother was already living in England. He had been a POW and then stayed, married a girl from his village and moved from the countryside into the town. He lived next door to my parents. Mr. P saw me over the garden fence and the wedding was a good way of getting an introduction!

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