Tapis Vert at Villa Centinale, Sienna, Italy
Tapis vert, tapis vert, tapis vert. You are slowly walking between columns of oak and ilex with a carpet of grass under your feet. Yes, pull away those blankets of snow. There is a gateway ahead of you. A hermitage high on the hill. Just climb those scala santa.
Edith Wharton wrote about the tapis vert of the Villa Centinale near Sienna, Italy in the early 1900’s. The villa is simple, not grand like the Roman villas. “The glory of Centinale is its park,” wrote Ms. Wharton in her book, “Italian Villas and Their Gardens” published by The Mount Press, Rizzoli.
Vivian Russell in her book, “Edith Wharton’s Italian Gardens” published by Bullfinch Press Book, Little, Brown & Co. , 2000, writes, “Behind the villa … a long green walk extends between high walls. The tapis vert leads to a crossroads.”
So back on the shores of the USA, what constitutes a tapis vert? One could call it wishful thinking for some sign of grass below the white of snow. The green that we can write home about.