20 April 2006

fiori for all

Monday was a holiday in Italy and most shops were closed. And while it rained most of the morning into early afternoon we noticed an unusually large number of people roaming the streets with plants and flowers. We traced the vegetation to a nearby piazza that was filled with vendors of flowers, plants, small trees & animals.

The piazza was full of color and sound as people explored what there was on offer among the puddles. Kudos to the stiletto-wearing women who managed to navigate the cobblestones and also the puddles. Though I imagine that shopping for plants on cobblestones is nothing compared to riding a bicycle in the same shoes and a skirt. It's all relative I suppose.

The plants on offer were gorgeous and varied. The most interesting for me were the lemon trees -- who would think that lemon trees are available as home accessories? With real lemons! We came home with a few plants for the balcony and will do our best to keep them alive. We made sure to ask the vendors whether the different plants preferred sun or shade... and I think we understood the answers. I am confident, though, that we will still be able to do harm to the plants regardless of our best intentions.

There were also quite a few small pets available for impulse buying. Gorgeous birds, some sulking turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs and the like. The most unique option was a pile of chipmunks that seemed better suited for the forest than a small Italian apartment. Maybe it's every Italian chipmunks dream to spend lazy days lounging in a cage no longer stressed out about gathering whatever it is they eat... but I doubt it.

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