Friday, May 8, 2009

Monte Amiata

 Over the millennia, lots of plants and animals have been added to the natural diversity here. Among other things, the Romans introduced chestnuts from the eastern part of their empire. Chestnuts became a staple food of country people and caring for them a whole way of life in the parts of Italy where they do well (they like sandy soil between 1,500 and 3,000 feet). We visit groves on the slopes of Monte Amiata that have been passed down through the generations for many centuries. People here claim to have propagated at least three hundred varieties for particular qualities — these sweet, those huge, these good for flour, these for roasting

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