No I don’t mean in the tree hugging, hemp suit, brown paper recycling way. The landscape itself is actually green – bright, glowing verde.
Everytime we’ve come to Tuscany in the past it has been midsummer. And the heat of the preceding months have done their work – the colours of summer are tans and browns and burnt ochres. The colour palate hints at green in the trees, cypresss and pines, but the overwhelming look is a faded patchwork of earthy tones. Fields of sun flowers are dotted in between hay fields that have been harvested and now lie dormant, brown and tanned in the sun, the hay resting in rolled bails drying and waiting for collection before Autumn.
But May is different. Everything is growing furiously. Crops have yet to be harvested and the countryside is bursting with life. It’s like some controversial artist has taken a brush and wiped the brightest green across the Tuscan hills and valleys. The Tuscan tourist board would not be impressed.
As we drove to our cottage for the first time this green-ness took us by surprise. Were we in the right place? Had we inadvertantly stumbled into Tuscany’s greener and wetter neighbour Umbria by mistake? Were our memories playing tricks with us?
Happily the last few days have seen the start of Tuscany changing from spring to summer. Spotted across the landscape, some fields that were green have now been harvested and have, overnight, taken on that dried summer feel. In the mornings we hear the sound of tractors firing up and later that day another field has been transformed.
Already we can see the Tuscany we remember returning, slowly but surely.