There are plums, nectarines, melons, peaches and tomatoes bursting out everywhere. And green, unripe walnuts — some of which will end up in the wonderful liqueur Nocino. There are chillies, onions and celery to form the beginning of many dishes. Not unnoticed are the bright, mixed summer berries and the unbearably tempting smells of other people’s barbecues, mingling with July heat and checked tablecloths.
On the weekends the cities are empty and the beaches swollen with fair-weather friends. Absent are the small children who have already been in June and will not return again until September. New ice-cream shops seem to have flung open their freshly-painted doors everywhere to keep up with the demand.