A Room with a View

October 20th, 2012

The creek of metal followed by the slap of wooden shutters against stone walls starts the day. They sound one after another in the mountaintop hamlet of Montone. Calls of “Ciao!” and “Buon Giorno!” ring through the streets; birds sing in the distance.

I open my own shutters and gaze upon a valley of green hills with pristine rows of Ceders of Lebanon. Centuries-old farmhouses stand in the distance. Fields of tobacco, their leaves tinged yellow, dot the landscape–for probably the last time. After almost four hundred years, Umbria’s historic crop will disappear. EU subsides are ending as farmers contemplate a new future. Some are experimenting with herbs and legumes; others choose to cover their land in solar panels. Even though they distract from the picture-perfect scenery, it’s a smart move in a country where energy is costly.


My Room with a View


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