Wild about Wildflowers

Italy’s wildflower season is a long one – one can follow the seasons by traveling from south to north and enjoy spring in bloom for 6 months! For wildflower enthusiasts, naturalists or gardeners who simply enjoy the outdoors, Italian Connection hosts a series of unique walking tours to celebrate Italy’s most spectacular wildflower regions.

Wildflower season in the southern coast of Sicily begins in January and February, with fields of bright yellow sorrel and tiny blue iris carpeting the almond orchards in snowy-white bloom, all especially beautiful at the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.

In March and April, the countryside around Ragusa bursts into bloom with a riot of colors making it a perfect time for a walking tour in eastern Sicily, when blue borage, pink valerian, and yellow margheritas grow shoulder high, and its easy to pick a bouquet of 50 different flowers!

On the roadless island of Marettimo, off Sicily’s western coast, early May is the best time to see the Mediterranean scrub in bloom, when the air is scented with the perfume of rosemary, rock roses and sweet yellow broom, or a walk along the Zingaro Park where you can pause for a dip in the turquoise sea.

May in Tuscany brings daisies and hyacinths in the vineyards in Chianti, while in southern Tuscany between the hill towns of Pienza and Montepulciano, the glorious green hills are painted with streaks of bright red poppies.

In the Maremma in southern Tuscany, you’ll find a display of brilliant poppies in the countryside, while late in the summer white lilies bloom on the beach.

Walking in Umbria in July brings gorgeous fields of sunflowers in the foothills above Assisi, while later in the season, the sunflower’s wild cheery cousin the sunchoke grows to a towering height.

Along the Tuscan coast, you’ll find a similar display while exploring La Maremma in July, which brings gorgeous fields of sunflowers when walking in Umbria in the foothills above Assisi.

Wildflowers in the Dolomites offer a spectacular display of colors in June, July and August, with masses of buttercups, forget-me-nots and vanilla orchids. Above Cortina in the high alpine meadows, hikers will be rewarded into September with deep blue gentians, yellow alpine poppies and soft delicate edelweiss.

Autumn in Piedmont means truffle hunting, but don’t forget to stop and admire the clusters of brilliant yellow crocus that pop up amongst the hazelnut groves.