The July following our arrival in Italy some friends took me up to what seemed like the top of the world to see the lentil fields flowering in Casteluccio in Umbria. We were a little early so although I enjoyed the day there wasn’t all that much to see.
I have been promising myself and my husband that we would go up one weekend when we were sure the fields would be colourful.
So nine years later we got there! I had never seen what a lentil flower looked like, but I’d been told and the website implied that the lentils flowers were many different colours making the huge fields in the Alpine meadow-like bowl high up in the Apennines a sight worth the three hour drive. We actually decided to go for the weekend with some good friends and stayed overnight in the delightful, ancient town of Norcia, famous for all cured meats from the pig and Wild Boar plus truffles.
The road verges on the way up were full of wild flowers including at lower levels huge amounts Cotinus seemingly growing as ground cover. Higher, the number of wild flowers on the verges was (I really don’t know what adjective to use) AMAZING, ASTOUNDING, FANTASTIC, INCREDIBLE, ASTONOSHING, MIRACULOUS! All of these and more cannot describe how wonderful the sight was; and remember we hadn’t reached the lentil fields yet and it was those that are famous.
From a distance away we could see ordered rectangular fields in blue, yellow, red and pink – so that was the lentil flowers! But NO, here’s the twist – the local farmers or possibly the town (village) council actually add different wild flowers to the lentil seed, meaning that the fields are different combinations of colours every year. The main flowers used are red poppies (Papaver rhoeas), blue cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) and yellow mustard;
In the background you can just see the town of Casteluccio
and the colour of the lentil flowers themselves just an insipid off white, not large, not beautiful just delicious!
There were so many wonderful images I’ll post some more later. If you are in central Italy with a car during late June to the end of July I recommend you visit this beautiful place, I don’t think you’d be disappointed.
By the road I saw these grasses, aren’t they just stunning.