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This is my first and favorite image that comes to mind when one says “Italy.”

Marche Hills

Marche Hills

A few steps outside of the city of Ancona: the boundless, rolling Marche countryside, where the colors of wheat and green apples cross-hatch across the hills and the undiluted blue of the sky above shines with the same vibrance as the ground underneath your feet.

A few steps outside of the city, there are chirping birds and wild mulberries dotting the side of the road and a sense of infinity that doesn’t end with the horizon.  As you keep walking, the hills keep rolling.  Rolling and growing and stretching and tempting you to cross just one more and see the view from there.  And then just one more, and one more.

PS:  Fun fact (kinda)- Remember Canvas C, back in the pre-numbered days?  That tractor was painted from photos taken on the same stroll out of Ancona and into the wilderness.  In fact, that red tractor is actually located on that second hill off in the  distance.  Cool, huh?