As we were
When you go from Bolzano to Trento, you cross nine miles through a valley that becomes more and more fertile. The Adige now flows more gently and in many places forms broad islands of pebbles. Along the riverbanks and on the hills everything is planted so thickly that you would imagine each crop must choke the other – maize, mulberries, apples, pears, quinces and nuts. Walls are covered with a luxuriant growth of dwarf-elder, and thick-stemmed ivy clambers and spreads itself over rocks; lizards dart in and out of crevices and everything that wanders about reminds me of my favourite pictures.
Goethe, Italian Journey (a few centuries before monoculture), translated by W. H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer