A google search will be fruitless; you won’t find very much about it, unless you speak Italian: MURABILIA is an annual market for serious enthusiasts and professionals in horticulture - located in the beautiful medieval city of Lucca, in Tuscany.
For quick readers, vendor links highlighted throughout in bold.
Does anybody have the attention span to read blog posts anymore? Doubtful!
Over the past 18 years, MURABILIA has gained recognition in Europe, beyond just Italy. I haven’t seen anything quite like it myself anywhere.. It took persistent tuning in with my moral compass to not succumb to the temptation of smuggling seeds in my luggage as I walked in horticultural ecstasy, tantalized by interminable displays of tomatoes, figs, pears, heirlooms and crossbreeds alike.
Lucca is a perfect picturesque large town/small city to hunker down for a couple weeks; to read, wander the streets, walk the idyllic medieval walls circling the entire ancient city. [Side note: Any urban planner interested in building a sense of community would drool over this unique architectural feature.]
Here locals of all ages gather as family, high-school clans, enamored couples… kissing, jogging and cycling, or leisurely strolling with a gelato in hand on Sunday afternoons.
held atop the city walls and neighboring botanical garden
3 day event, first week of September
approx. 250 exhibitors specialized in Italian and foreign horticulture
offering a remarkable cultural, botanical and horticultural program: thematic exhibitions, conferences, publications, workshops, and plain ol’ market stands with fresh food & plant related goods for purchase…
open to all; enthusiasts and industry professionals welcome!
Vivai Belfiore in particular had me swooning. Yes, behind these tables was one very handsome Italian man in charge… but I’m referring to the far more exciting bountiful display of endless varieties of apples, pears, figs, nuts, grapes, pomegranates, cherries, olives... #dream #heaven. Vivai Belfiore specializes in ancient, rare and historical fruits - for low maintenance, natural cultivation. Their catalog of indigenous mediterranean plants of high rusticity is staggering.
If ever I settle this restless soul of mine I suspect it’ll be the result of succumbing to the the temptation of a bit of land to re-establish a food garden, and at last plant some fruit trees. If you are lucky enough to live in Italy and are seeking rare fruit trees - look no further. Vivai Belfiore is also on Facebook & Twitter. Click on grid above for more of the many photos I took of their exhibit alone.
Italy is the largest rice producer in Europe, where more than 50 varieties are cultivated! Mostly located in the Northern regions, small areas of paddy fields can also be found in Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Sardinia and Calabria. / www.enterisi.it
Donne & Riso (Women & Rice), was founded in Vercelli in 1979. Visit their website, or find Donne & Riso on Facebook to learn more about this association, buy their beautifully cultivated rice, or discover new risotto & rice recipes. Thank you google translator for an amazing job at translating entire webpages in seconds!
How many times have you packed your bag a couple days before you depart, to gauge the remaining empty space available for the acquisition of more goods? For me, souvenirs usually mean food related items, which usually means, heavy items. See below ancient heirloom stone-ground flours. How could I not? So, I did. I have one word for you, heavy. I have another word for you, willful. Enter Eredita dal Passato...
As a pastry artist, I was immediately drawn to Eredita dal Passato’s stand. Inherited from his grandfather, the farm had been cultivated by local farmers for decades. Honoring customs and traditions from the past, Eredita dal Passato offers truly ancient grains and cereals, aromatic herbs, berries, legumes… They are certified organic, and employ biodynamic farming practices to cultivate a healthy soil for these specific grains. Both grains and legumes are available whole or ground. If you’re curious to learn how to make these traditional breads yourself, they also offer courses 2-3 times a month on old methods, using a wood burning oven. Find more info on their website, or on Facebook.
Another showstopper exhibitor - Zucche & Co. Oh the PUMPKINS! Scroll to the end of the post for photo gallery.. Zucche & Co is comprised of a small group of enthusiasts who grow pumpkins as a hobby. They exhibit over 170 varieties of cucurbitacee at Murabilia! It’s worth the trip alone. FYI, they sell seeds. You can’t legally take them in your luggage. But, mail? Just sayin’.
Murabilia is yet another reason to visit Lucca, and September is a wonderful time of year to go - tourism is a little quieter, and the weather was not too hot, just cool enough. The fact that it’s about an hour from Florence by train, yum... But more on that in a separate post.