It still doesn’t seem like it’s even close to autumn here in Spain. It feels a little like late summer, but that’s frankly the best I can do. The nights are getting darker, and sometimes I do take a light denim jacket with me when I go out at night, but that really doesn’t warrant the term autumn in my book.
But anyway… one of the nicest ways to see in autumn, when it does come, is of course in nature. This time last year, we were fortunate enough to be invited to an Italian friend’s family home in the village of Scandriglia, in the Umbria region about an hour from Rome, to join the annual olive harvest ritual.
How romantic, and rustic and very Mediterranean, I thought, and started day-dreaming of frolicking around in floaty dresses, with a vibrant, yet timid smile on my still-tanned face…
It was raining. One had to wear wellies. And jackets. And soon-to-be mud-stained jeans.
But it was every bit as charmingly rustic as I had imagined. Apart from the weather not allowing me to fully live my Italian dream, it was a fantastic experience. There were Italian men of all ages, working around the trees to prepare the nets which make sure no olives go astray. There were Americans raking the trees and Germans carrying baskets brimming with freshly picked olives. There were Frenchmen on branches reaching for the hard-to-get fruit at the top of the tree, and then there was me, trying not to slip in the mud.
And there was food. A loooot of food. So much so, I seem to recall letting out a little ‘ouch’ every now and then. In true Italian style, we were fed to the point of pain, but it was worth it!
So if you ever have the chance to go olive picking in Italy, do it!
Images courtesy of Jennie Adele Aufhauser.