Leisurely, Alfresco Lunches & Summer Garden Inspiration: Italian Style…
Dining Italian Style – Inspiration fromÂ Italian Country by Robert Fitzgerald
Food, wine and alfresco dining beneath the shade trees… I can’t stop thinking about Italy’s Amalfi Coast today, and I am going to go ahead and blame it all on my new Italian friend, Rosanna. I am working on an interesting, long-distance landscaping project with Rosanna; designing a garden for her home on Long Island, (I will share some of the details of this project later this week). Because she is in New York and I am in Vermont, Rosanna and I have been spending quite a bit of time on the phone these days as we work through project details.Â Over the weekend, our conversation slowly took a leisurely turn, meandering back to our international childhoods.Â Although our extended families come from different nations, we have discovered many things in common. Rosanna and I are both first generation, European-Americans (though for me, this is but one set of Alpine roots on my mother’s side) and we both maintain connections to our families and cultural histories abroad.
I love all of South Central Europe —homeland of my extended family—but like many romantics the world-over, I lost my heart somewhere on the Amalfi Coast long ago. Those effortlessly stylish Italians, is there anything they don’t do with perfect flair? From an intimate table beneath a wisteria-draped pergola or a secluded cafe setting inside a shady loggia, to a casually elegant stone terrace or grand plein air dining room bound by clipped hedges and formal topiary; when it comes to meals out of doors, Italians always get the garden setting right. Lucky Rosanna will be vacationing in Italy later this summer. I may be a little envious, but although a trip abroad is not in the cards for me this summer, (maybe fall?) I can still enjoy a bit of Southern European style in my garden here at home. Looking for some outdoor dining-room inspiration? Flipping through my dog-eared copies of Italian Country, Mediterranean Gardens,Â Italian Style and Tuscany Artists Gardens,with a glass of chianti in hand, I am reminded of why it is that I always fall for the Italians…
Understated Elegance on the Terrace Â – Italian Country by Robert Fitzgerald
Refreshment – Italian Styleby Jane Gordon Clark with photography by Simon Upton
Wine and Bread, the Art of Living – Italian Styleby Jane Gordon Clark and Simon Upton
Italian Eye Candy – Tuscany Artists Gardens
Here at Ferncliff, I seem to be revealing my Southern European roots. Raised Goshen stone terrace and steps by Vermont artist Dan Snow…
A rusting bench for sipping wine and a rustic clay pots for oregano at Ferncliff. The stone terrace is by artistÂ Dan Snow.
Some European-inspired outdoor dining and decorating pieces for the garden, found online at the always stylish
Rustic, Beer-Garden-Style Table and Benches from Terrain
For Casual Elegance Beneath a Porch or Pergola – Terrain’s Scrolling Teak Chair andÂ Graceful, Matching Settee
Terrain’s Miniature Garden Torches Light Up the Dining Area by Night
Article and photographs of Ferncliff Â© 2010 Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden
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4 Replies to “Leisurely, Alfresco Lunches & Summer Garden Inspiration: Italian Style…”
Hi Michaela, Much as I know that “rustico” is very hot (pun intended) right now, I can’t help but wonder about sitting there without staining your clothes. Too much practical – not enough romantic, I guess?
But I really wanted to mention “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes as being an incredibly transportive book… Makes me wonder about having been there in a previous lifetime, it’s pull is so evocative. oxDeb
P.S. Where do you get all of these wonderful clay pots?
Hi Deb, Ha. You know, I’m not sure of exactly why… but when I sit on my rusty bench, I never get rust on my clothes. Perhaps because it is exposed to the weather and is ‘clean’ rust? I do throw cushions on it when I have guests over, and I’m usually in jeans… I would probably think twice in a white skirt. I do love the look of rusting metal, but you’re right, it’s not practical everywhere.
Oh and pots… I collected most of the pieces while traveling across the border in Mexico (by car); also in while working in Arizona and New Mexico and elsewhere in the Southwest. As for the urns, some are from a VT store called ‘A Candle in the Night’ and some were gifts. I love pottery.
I haven’t read ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’… but I will check it out. Thank you for the recommendation.
Beautiful Tuscan Style!! What a pleasure awsome!!!! from Christine from South Africa!!!!!!!!!
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