Hans Christian Andersen sees Italy for the first time: “here is Paradise!”




Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author and poet best known for his fairytales, visited Italy in 1833, and when he saw citrus groves for the first time he responded with the mixture of rapture and envy that Italy can still provoke among visitors from colder and less romantic countries.  He wrote to a friend:

“Just imagine the beautiful ocean and entire forests

with oranges and lemons,

the ground was covered with them; mignonettes and gillyflowers

grew like weeds.

My God, my God!

How unfairly we are

treated in the north; here, here is Paradise.”

Attlee, Helena (2015-01-05). The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and Its Citrus Fruit (Kindle Locations 47-48). Countryman Press. Kindle Edition.


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