Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big city vs. Small town

AKS: During the last four weeks of traveling Italy I have noticed a stark difference between availability of plants in big cities and small towns. In towns like Castiglion Fiorentino, small gardens and farms are seen on almost every street. Families will grow fruits and vegetables to use for everyday cooking instead of buying them at a market. Garlic, onion, tomatoes, and sometimes a couple of olive trees, along with many other plants, are typically grown in these small family gardens. Along with fruits and vegetables, flowers are plentiful in Italian family gardens. I have been amazed by the diversity and size of the roses all over Italy, like the one you see in the first picture.
In large cities like Rome and Florence, small family gardens and farms disappear almost altogether; these gardens are replaced by local markets that sell fruit, flowers, pasta, nuts, etc. As you can see from the second picture, there is an abundance of fruit, vegetables, and flowers available to buy at local markets. This picture was taken by my roommate at the market of Campo di Fiori in Rome. This particular market is open everyday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. I have loved shopping in the markets and seeing fresh fruit everyday no matter what city I'm in. I can never decide which I like best… the big city or the laidback countryside, but I know no matter where I go I will always see the horticulture ingrained in the Italian lifestyle.

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