Wisteria and Sunshine
Wisteria and Tuscany just go together for me.
Maybe it’s because I usually seem to visit Italy in the springtime, so many of my memories there are draped in the violet boughs.
I love wisteria anywhere though, and I seek out its fragrant blossoms wherever it grows: behind the church in Arkansas, in a walled garden in Aberdeen, on honey-colored cottages in the Cotswolds.
But perhaps the reason I link wisteria so firmly with Italy in my mind is from countless rewatches of the film, Enchanted April.
At the beginning of the film, two women meet in rainy London and form an immediate bond over an advertisement for the rental of an Italian villa for the month of April, which they end up renting with two other strangers. The newspaper ad leads with an invitation to Wisteria and Sunshine.
My spring pilgrimages to Italy might just be my way of answering that advertisement myself.
This past April, after two years of cancelled trips to Tuscany, it was time to return.
I met my friend Jane and her husband, Jesse, for a glorious celebration lunch in Pienza. We were giddy with joy to be back in Italy after the world had shut down and international travel had been inaccessible. After a two-hour lunch, we headed off to the gorgeous villa where Jane hosts her retreats, Fattoria del Colle.
I was not there even an hour before I headed out for a walk. I threw my backpack into the luxurious three-room apartment that would be my home for the week, and then I took off skipping through the vineyards and olive groves. It took me a while to negotiate the fallen branches and neglected pathways before I reached my destination:
the tiny village of Trequanda, where the wisteria grows.