a word on fall and italy!


I can feel fall sneaking into the air here.
The days are still summer hot by the afternoon,
but the evenings are cool
and the mornings, crisp.


There’s still heat enough
for ice cream in the park
and lazy saturdays at the market.
There’s still weather
for shoes with no socks
and dresses with no tights.
But I feel that familiar fade,
that familiar tugging of fall.



It’s good though.
I’m going to make apple pies and coffee cakes.
I’m going to make crème caramel
and late summer crisps.
And in a couple weeks
I’m going to leave it all behind
for Italy. (!!)



So, I need your help with recommendations.
I’ll be in Abruzzo (about 10 minutes from Roseto delgi Abruzzi)
for the first bit of my journey
and then down in Puglia (about 20 minutes from Lecce)
for the last bit.
Anything I shouldn’t miss?
Olive groves,
or anything at all you loved
while visiting Italy?




see you soon!




this dress
this hat
the third and last photos in this post
this dress
the strawberries in this post
these oxfords
these pants
a new for the love of pie post soon!
this photo
the photos in this post were taken by michael graydon and styled by me for garden making magazine.
wave white and astrid navy cuffs
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and we made the cover!

posted on September 11, 2012 by Nikole


  1. Those gourds put me right in the mood for fall

  2. Nicole says:

    Oh, Nikole! The trip is so close, I can hardly believe it is almost here. I’ll have to check back on the comments later to see what others have recommended. See you in Abruzzo. :)

    • Nikole says:

      I can’t wait! It’s going to be so fun! See you soon. And bring any of your favorite little props, napkins, linens etc if you have a tiny bit of extra space. No worries if not though. ;)

  3. Have so much fun! Italy stole my heart. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the country. Safe travels!

  4. Susanne says:

    I’m also two weeks in Italy and we will see us. I’ m so excited..

  5. Sanda says:

    I am so happy to be part of first bit of your journey! We are on the countdown…

  6. emily says:

    Oh, how I love Italy. Have so much fun!

    AND THOSE TEQUILA STRAWBERRIES! I could get in some trouble with those! Yum! The last time I drank a lot of tequila I was calling Dan “Ken” and got carried home from the party. ha!

  7. Valeria says:

    Oh what a wanderful trip you’re having! I am Italian and I know those places quite well, especially Puglia! Visit the Natural Park of Torre Guaceto and especially the olive trees whicjh are hundreds of years old. The oil that comes from there is astonishing. In Martina Franca there is a local speciality, a cured meat called Capocollo, which is sosososo good with freshly made focaccia (also typical from Puglia). In Ceglie they make the best cookies ever (biscotto di Ceglie). Also, don’t miss friselle with fresh chopped tomatoes and oil, real burrata (made fresh daily!), and almond milk granita. And also, if you like meat, there are places called Fornello where you can buy meat and have it cooked there for you on vertical spits placed in a fire oven. Mmm…Oh, the wine! Primitivo and Salice Salentino for reds, lovely Fiano for whites, and the best Rosé wines of the whole peninsula, best paired with mussels and chickpea home-made pasta :) Enjoy your visit, it’s a beautiful land.

  8. Sarah says:

    I’m Italian and I’ve been recently to Abruzzo for a holiday… please don’t miss a visit to the National Park there… it’s amazing!

  9. Sasha says:

    You words perfectly capture the change of the seasons.

    And then to experience that in Italy! I wish you an amazing trip! I have never been to Abruzzo and I have only spent a few days in Puglia so I don’t really have any tips to share. However, you’ll be in Abruzzo in truffle season and 80% of Italy’s truffles are grown there so you should certainly go truffle hunting! (I’ll be in Venice for October and November and am planning a truffle hunting weekend outside of Bologna – cannot wait).

    And if you cross Puglia’s border and find yourself in Campania you must must go see a buffalo mozzarella farm. You can wander with the buffalo (and see them being massaged) and then eat creamy and dreamy freshly made mozzarella and yogurt and ice cream.

    Agrotourismo is quite the art in Italy. Even if you already have accommodations you should hunt down some of the farms for dinner. There really is nothing better than having a home cooked meal at a farm in rural Italy.

    If you haven’t read Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter you should certainly pick it up and read about the summers she spent in Puglia (and this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/17/dining/17summ.html)

    Buon Viaggio!

  10. The pumpkins are so beautiful. No recs for Italy but I hope you have a magical time!

  11. Michelle says:

    My uncle lives in Tuscany but pretty close to the Umbrian border. I haven’t seen too much on that side (always more visits needed) but Assisi is beautiful – like some mythical place etched into the mountain. Whenever we travel to Italy we play the ‘monk game’ – 10 points for spotting a nun, 20 for a monk and 30 for a priest, pope is wipe out win! Start fresh each day and winner at the end of the trip pays for it (just joking on that last bit). Can’t wait to see your pictures!

  12. Phi says:

    Thank you for your lovely photos, they are such an inspiration! I have a small collection of my own and it breaks my heart to think of them cut up and eaten to pieces.

  13. Kira K says:

    Dear Nicole,
    It’s hard to describe the excitement I experience everytime i see a new post from you in my Google Reader. Each post is like a little pearl shining through its shell.
    Have an amazing time in Italy, can’t wait to read and see your impressions.
    All the best!

  14. lucie says:

    It’s always a pleasure to come here! and btw, I want to go to Italy too!! One of my best friend is from Puglia, and each time he talks to me about his homeland, I want to go there, especially to see the trullis and to swimm and lay in hidden beaches.

  15. [...] + I’m collecting pumpkins and fall squashes like this. [...]

  16. Y says:

    I wish we shared the same seasons :) Hope you have a wonderful trip to Italy. I’ve only ever been to Venice, so no recommendations to share I’m afraid.

  17. Those photos are incredible. Have a lovely trip, we’re all expecting photos! Haha

  18. [...] source ] function fbs_click() [...]

  19. [...] Gourds | Harvest Wreath | Apples | Kumquats | Ruffled Pie Dish | Birch Trees posted by tanya in [...]

  20. Raju says:

    mooshark77 on November 16, 2008 well i only just started heinrag about the show when it was on ace of cakes and i was like omfg i hafta see it being a huge broadway fan and all that sux i missed it on tour that’s happened to me a lot lately

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