Think of Italy and you may think of the iconic buildings such as the Coliseum in Rome, Florence’s imposing Duomo, of gondolas gliding down the canals of Venice.
Then there is the stunning Italian countryside, be it the citrus trees of Sicily, the grapevines raked across Tuscany, the saturated greens of Umbria ? the images that once seen, stay with you forever.
The Italian countryside changes throughout the seasons, a living colour palette that slowly evolves from warms browns, deep winter greens, through to the vibrant and multicoloured colours of Spring and Summer.
With climates varying from the north to the south, the seasons are a little different around Italy.
Just now in Tuscany, the wild roses are flourishing. Passioned reds, sweet pinks, tinted yellows and pure white blossoms are bursting out from the shrubs. Country pathways are lined by flippant red poppies, fields are filled with the white and yellow broom flowers that burst out from the cool summer greens preparing for the upcoming burst of sunflowers.
Of course there is also lots of lavender as well, lending a regalness to the Tuscan fields. It would be difficult to find a garden in the Tuscan countryside without lavender, particularly as it is traditionally used to keep the peace between traditional herbs of sage and rosemary that don’t seem to get along without an intermediary!
To see a fantastic array of assorted wildflowers, it is lovely to go for a drive or even a stroll through Tuscany, along the world heritage listed valley south of Siena and the Via Cassia towards the villages of Pitiligliano and Sorano you will see postcard perfect scenes.
Right now, owing to the warmer temperatures who just couldn’t wait to arrive, we are thrilled to already be seeing fireflies coming out, which would not normally happen until June/July.
Italy’s north is lined with the Alps; it is a long country extending to islands south of Sicily which is getting closer to Africa and Malta. The climate and flowering times do vary depending on where in Italy you are as the more south you are the warmer it gets earlier. Different Italian regions also have different varieties of wild flowers and regional crops.
If you love flowers, as we do, we recommend getting up-close and personal with a stay in the Tuscan countryside at a typical ‘agriturismo’ country farmhouse and doing some lovely walks locally. A stroll after dinner along a country lane lined with old stone walls, past olive groves and vineyards can be a sublime way to experience Italy.
Some agriturismos have lovely gardens and many that dot the countryside have approaches lined with iconic cypresses.
If you have the time, the ‘slow’ approach to travel is a great way to see and experience the wonderful sights and smells of flowers in the Tuscan summer.
If you would like to immerse yourself in the Tuscan countryside and be part of the scenery that has inspired so many great artworks, we have a small-group Best of Tuscany tour visiting Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni, and stopping for lunch and wine tasting at an award-winning wine estate. See the highlights of Tuscany in one spectacular day tour from Florence ? Best of Tuscany small-group tour.
For the Best of Tuscany tour, Uffizi Gallery and Accademia guided tours, plus a city walk tour (our acclaimed Original Florence Walk small-group guided walking tour in Florence’s historic city centre – we have a great discounted Florence and Tuscany tours package.
The Best of Florence and Tuscany discount tours package includes Original Florence Walk tour of Florence, the Masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery tour, the Accademia tour and the Best of Tuscany full-day tour from Florence to Tuscany in one fabulous discount tours package.
You can also see where the makers of the Mona Lisa and David worked and played, see where Leonardo da Vinci tested his historic flying machine and the shaded hillside stone works where Michelangelo learned his craft on our Perfect Morning in Tuscany small-group walking tour. Leaving from Florence’s city centre and heading to the surrounding countryside, this small-group walking tour includes, well, walking in Tuscany, as well as lunch with wine at a stunning Renaissance Villa Estate, accompanied by an expert tour guide.