Autumn in Montisi — Southern Tuscany

The sky a perfect Mediterranean blue; layered, complex birdsong, dusky fragrance of wild thyme; a big spider lazily scuttling across the narrow village road. I sit in front of the village’s only bar-cafe, closed now at 11:00 a.m. for the day, this being low season, and a Monday. The church bell chimes, once. On the other side of the wall, across the road, olive trees, a big spyria, two old apple trees, two enormous cypresses. The tiny Postitalia car putt-putts down the road. Two men in quiet conversation by the wall, the rhythm of their modulated voices rising and falling. One is much younger than the other, is pierced by two earrings in his right ear. A couple of hours ago I saw him shepherd his little boy to the village school. The village awakens slowly, the children not due until 9:00. A man on an old green bicycle wheels by with a tip of his white cap. Buongiorno.

The sweetest morning you can imagine.

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