And with the countdown to Christmas- Natale, our word of the week is ALBERO (tree) as in Albero di Natale! Un Albero (sing) and molti Alberi (pl) but each type has its own name so…let’s have a look at some of the most popular in Tuscany.
Let’s start by the seasonal- stagionale ABETE (Fìr Tree ), a very Christmassy tree, un albero natalizio, not typical of Tuscany but part of the Christmas tradition. In December, you can find them at garden centers for the traditional holiday decorations. We then carry on our green-tour with the iconic Tuscan CIPRESSO (Cypress), that we know has far away origins: http://www.chiarastuscany.com/2018/01/06/cipresso-lo-sapevi-did-you-know/ ;
the often secolare ( centuries old) QUERCIA (Oak Tree),frequently characterizing many Tuscan woods – BOSCHI therefore called “ Querceti” or the symbolic OLIVO (Olive Tree) often found in the region which grows in beautiful Oliveti (Olive groves ), the scholarly (erudito) ALLORO (Laurel- Bay Tree): traditionally used in Italy as the crown of leaves to celebrate newly graduated university students. The Laurel triumphal crown, in Greek mithology, was the symbol of glory and wisdom. The plant, considered Apollo’s tree, has had a reputation as a magical and beneficial tree.
We would like to add to our tour the romantic CILIEGIO (Cherry Tree), adorning Tuscan Springs with its FIORI ROSA o BIANCHI (pink or white flowers) followed by the sparkling red fruits : le brillanti CILIEGIE ROSSE ; the beautiful POMO (Persimmons tree) which light up the grey autumnal days with its bright orange fruits, called CACHI or POMI , the Mediterranean PINO MARITTIMO,
with its unmistakable shape often molded by the strong sea winds,the melancholic SALICE , also called for its shape SALICE PIANGENTE, and l’ OLMO ( Elm Tree) , la BETULLA ( Birch Tree) , il curative EUCALIPTO.
For now let’s stop here: it is time to decorate our Albero di Natale that, in Italy goes next to our traditional PRESEPE (Nativity):
pieces of different cultures and traditions melting in perfect harmony. A good omen for the days to come in our multicultural new world.