Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 17, 2020

A walk in the village

I have been staying at Casa Debbio during lockdown. I go down the mountain once a week to shop and have made a couple of trips to our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio. I have not been walking around Vergemoli because I thought that the older residents might be wary of a foreigner wandering about.

Yesterday I decided it was time to spread my wings a little and take a walk to Vergemoli. I need not have worried, everyone I passed was happy to chat. It was great to see the village looking pretty in spring.

The road from our house comes out beside a pretty little church.

I walked through the arch formed by the plane trees.

My nearest neighbour has a lovely garden.

His cherry tree is laden with almost ripe cherries.

He also has the best garden shed.


His potatoes are growing well.


There are some very pretty gardens in Vergemoli. Every available space is filled with plants.


A lovely lady who is in her 90s lives in the house below. Her garden was the inspiration for mine. I looked carefully at what she had growing. I thought that if she could grow it then I could. She has Banksia roses, acanthus and she has beautiful peonies, my favourite flowers. I now have 70 thriving peony plants and 40 babies I have grown from seed.

You can see our house from a couple of spots.

Like all villages in Italy Vergemoli has some great doorways.

Even an abandoned doorway with a couple of weeds in front has charm.

The drinking fountains have a similar style.

I love this little niche.

I walked through the village to the last house at the bottom.

They must have a great view from the front of the house.

There are stunning views from many vantage points.

On the way back to Casa Debbio an elderly man called to me from the balcony of the palazzo in the centre of town. It was bought by the village and turned into a meeting place with kitchen for village gatherings with some accommodation for back packers. There is also a shop open 6 days a week. It is an excellent project and a credit to the people of Vergemoli.

The man called out and asked me who I was. I replied that I am the Australian with the house up the hill. He relied “La signora con i fiori “ the lady with the flowers. How nice to be know for that.

Vergemoli is a beautiful mountain village. It now has fewer than 100 permanent residents. In summer it swells to 3 times that number when original residents return to their family houses to see relatives and friends. There is a small group of foreigners, many from Denmark. I have always been made welcome here and am often invited to join village celebrations…I love it.

From tomorrow many restrictions will be lifted in Italy. Bars, restaurants and shops will be open, with social distancing measures in place. We will be able to travel a little more freely. Travel will be relaxed a bit more on 4th June. The numbers of people contracting the virus are dropping and let’s hope that continues. Everyone is looking forward to the reopening with some trepidation.

I have been busy making plans to dine out with friends…more on that soon.


  1. I love your photography skills, beautifully captured

  2. “La signora con i fiori”. Che bella!

  3. Thank you signora dei fiori” your visit to Vergermoli has brought back memories dating to the years of WWII. I lived in Gallicano until 1954 when I emigrated to America. My older brother emigrated to Sydney Australia and passed on four year ago. I have visited Australia 11 times… I still have relatives in Gallicano, I visit my friends and relatives as often as possible, as a matter of fact I was supposed to be there right now bur the pandemic forced me to renounce.
    Thank you for your lovely description of your home and also for the love and passion for my land. Take care and be safe. Carlo Ilio Mannocci

    • Thank you for your message! This is a beautiful area, we love our time here. Let’s hope these difficult times end and you can return to Italy.

      • Thank you for your kind reply. I also hope to be able top return and visit my beloved Gallicano. Stay safe and let’s keep in touch!! Carlo

  4. Thanks for the most beautiful garden pictures. I am so ready for some sunshine and more growing things. May has been cold and wet here in Central Pennsylvania.

    • May was wet and cold here last year. Spring has been warmer this year after a mild winter. I come from sub tropical Queensland where there is little difference between the seasons. I love watching the changes here in spring

  5. Lovely to see more of where you live! Continue to stay safe! xo

    • Even with the lifting of restrictions we will need to keep wearing masks and being careful. I hope things go well for everyone.

  6. What a delightful Spring walk for you in this pretty village. Your photos bring back fond memories for me, Deb. I love your title “The Lafy With The Flowers” – very apt! xx

    • He was a friendly man, looking for a chat. It was cut short when he was told his lunch was ready.

  7. How nice to be out and about now. It looks like a perfect day for a stroll through lovely Vergemoli. Everyone looks like they have been nurturing their gardens during this difficult time.

    • It was great! Fortunately nurseries were allowed to open relatively early and we could buy spring plants.

  8. Such pride in those beautiful gardens – it was a reminder of our walk with you to the village

    • It is lovely to see that everyone puts in an effort to make the entire village look great.

  9. Glad to hear that you had such a nice outing. Confinement is not too pleasant, even in a golden cage, or perhaps one filled with flowers…
    Love your new name!

    • He was very sweet. News obviously travels. I hope the lifting of restrictions goes well for everyone. Stay well.

  10. What a lovely post, Debra. I’m happy you’re able to get out and enjoy nature like I know you like to do. It looks so green and all your photos are just beautiful.… Yes quite a compliment from that gentleman to know you as the lady with the flowers…

    • It was great to take a walk in the village. Let’s hope this situation improves for all of us soon.

  11. La Signora con i fiori, how lovely to be given that title. We loved your photos (brilliant as usual) they bring everything alive for us. Especially loved the doorways & niches & drinking fountain. The elderley lady’s garden so pretty & inspite of age it is good to see she has such an interest, hope we can be the same!
    The village celebrations must be great as Italians all seem to love life. Vergemoli looks like a lovely village & the gardens a delight.

    • Vergemoli is lovely. It was great to take a walk and be reminded of this.

  12. Your photos are absolutely beautiful! I am in love with it! Thanks for sharing x

    • Thank you for commenting! The village is beautiful. I’m happy to live part of the year here.

  13. Hi Debra, you take beautiful pictures, and Spring is my absolute favorite season. Just wow!

    • Thank you! Spring is gorgeous here.

  14. What stunning village photos. And yes that’s a really lovely way to be known! Is it warm there now?

    • We have had a few days of miserable weather, but I think it will be warm from now on. This evening was glorious.

  15. A very Heartfelt thanks to you “la signora con i fiori “ .
    My eyes filled with tears of joy at the beauty that you’ve shared .
    I’m Italian , but have never been there .
    My ancestors are from Messina and fled before the grande mare, tsunami in 1902. My great grandmother lived to be 100 years old , 1902-2002. We’ve always planned on visiting and sadly we never have . I’m from Connecticut, USA and live in Vermont now with a family of my own. Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures. I felt like I was walking there right beside you . Grazie Mille! Renee ( Renata)

    • I have been to Sicily, it is lovely. I hope you get to Italy one day. It would be wonderful to visit the land of your ancestors. My grandfather left Finland for Australia in 1912. I have loved going to Finland to get to know the country.

      • I hope so too 🙂
        Thanks so much .

  16. Those pictures are beautiful. I’d love to visit such a beautiful place. Love and light to Italy all the way from South Africa.

    • Thank you! Things are a little better here now. We can move aboit and shops and restaurants are open.

  17. What a beautiful walk…..makes the heart feel alive!
    Ultan. 🐼

    • It does indeed, especially after being in one place for a couple of months.

  18. Lovely sights, makes for good memories. Incredible nature of Italy

    • Italy is gorgeous, we love it.

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