Gilded Fields

July 30, 2012 / Local Interest

The bright sun makes the panorama glow even more – gold wherever you look. Now that the mietitura (reaping) and the trebbiatura (threshing) are done, what is left are shining fields dotted with cylinders of paglia (straw).

Straw is the shaft of grain remaining after the grain itself has been removed. The chugging of the mietitrebbia (combines) can be heard throughout the countryside in June as they reap, thresh, winnow, bale and then spit out the cylindrical bales. Once that’s done, the scene is practically a still life, no movement of man or beast, unless you happen to see the occasional cylinder rolling down to the bottom of the field!

Bales can be rectangular, but nowadays they are more likely spit out as rolls. Stacks, as in hay stacks? Well, fieno (hay) is a grass, and that is a horse of a different color.


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

8 Responses to “Gilded Fields”

  1. Anne Robichaud

    Yes, GB..massive rotoballe on our fields now which can only be fork-lifted onto the trailers, ie, machine-labor not human labor…for..long-gone are the days of lifting those parallelpiped-shaped bales onto farm carts or trailers behind the tractors.

    But that golden color you pointed out is still the same.

  2. Evanne

    Hi, GB. Thanks for this note. Do you remember that I I wrote about these fields on August 9, 2009 in a note? Perhaps one day you’ll find a way to search by date. But by now, the number of notes published from the beginning could really be a great coffee table book, with new editions each year. Come no?

    Also, thanks so much, Anne for your comment. You are a great resource. Hope to meet you one day.

    Big hugs all around

  3. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    Italy does have it’s wonders ,from top to bottom. There are other fields of ‘golden wheat’ durum e farro in beautiful Puglia whiich make some of the best pasta of Italia

  4. Colleen Simpson

    I love the fields of gold all around me, also in Umbria! Waking up to the sound of the mietitrebbia is one of the joys of a July morning. Grazie Mille for this beautiful note and reminder of the beauty of the land that we have chosen!

  5. Johanne Mullin

    Because the kitchen window was always open during the summer months, that golden haze would slip into my kitchen in Umbria. Yes, it covered the furnishings and needed to be dusted off, but you paid that little chore no never mind because it coated the marble floor in gold. I’ll always remember thinking, “What is this delicious feeling on the soles of my feet?” I’d wait each year to skate across the floor on my golden feet. Thank you for the Note; I’d almost forgotten. I do remember the reassuring sound of the threshers trundling into the fields at 4:30 a.m. though on the strade bianche outside my door.

    • I think i can remember every second of my trip to Umbria , the fire flies among the mullein stalks ant the view from your round window on the 2nd floor, Perugia in the mist in the distance.
      the memories are more tangible than than yesterday because everything was so unique, similar to California, yet so completely different.Have you been able to go back?

      take care, Carol

  6. Carolyn McConnell

    I like this article! When I left Italy for Seattle in July, all these activities were going on and it makes me think of my home there in the farmland. I’ve been wondering how to say those words!


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