Location: Sant’Arsenio, Italy

This July I traveled to Italy with my husband George to attend his cousin’s wedding in Sant’Arsenio, Italy. Sant’Arsenio is a town in the Province of Salerno in southwestern Italy with a small population of about 2,700. One of the things that struck me about Italy is how health conscious people are about the food they eat, which consists of lots of pasta, delicious cheeses, virgin olive oil, and fresh organic vegetables usually grown in backyard gardens. They also enjoy a variety of fresh fruits.

This photograph was taken in my father-in-law, Rosario’s, backyard where he’s growing tomatoes, basil, mint, celery, and cucumbers amongst other veggies.The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans, dating back to 9400–9200 BC and were a common food to the Romans. As we hugged this fig tree, that Adam and Eve covered themselves with its leaves after eating its “forbidden fruit,” and that Buddha achieved enlightenment under, we transcended back in time and indulged in the sweetness of its divinity.

Maria Giatrakis is an MBA graduate and an aspiring photographer. She currently works in Sales & Marketing for a mobile games company in New York. Maria and George live in Queens with their pet birds and cat.