Hot! Photo of the Day: Bowl of Cherries

This time of year in Northern Italy life is literally and figuratively a bowl of cherries. Not only has spring turned to long and eventful summer days, but the pink blossoms that exploded in April have now filled the trees with fruit. Cherries are everywhere. We climb in the hills outside Finale hiking through orchards and pulling snacks from the limbs as we go; at the agritouristica for dinner friends who maybe have had too much wine scramble into the trees and lower the high branches still covered with fruit down to us; walk into any restaurant, cafe or house and someone has a bowl spilling over with these sweet and tart treats.

In the small mountain town of Valdieri my friends and I have gotten off the bus to find a place for the night. We order beers and eye the fruit tarts in the display case. As I ask the pub owner about rooms he tells us we have stopped too soon. The hotels are in the town down the road. I am so focused on this information, I don’t realize his wife is speaking to me until she asks a familiar phrase: “Does the girl speak Italian?” I turn and she is standing behind me holding out a napkin filled with cherries. “Take them,” she says. I do, and my friends and I bite into her offering of Italian life with gusto before running across the street to catch the next bus.

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