Castelluccio’s sea of flowers
Between May and July, the plain is transformed into a picture-perfect landscape that mesmerises visitors from around the world. A carpet of flowers pops up with bursts of blue, red, white, purple and, most importantly, yellow – the first colour that appeared here.
The yellow Lenticchie di Castelluccio, arguably Italy’s most delicious lentils with a verythin skin are grown here. The blue, red, white and purple wild flowers, by contrast, were sown randomly by the threshing machines when they were used to harvest lentils, wheat and spelt. The flowers have gradually spread to the lentil fields, so Castelluccio has been gifted a rich wealth of colour – enough to turn Impressionist painters green with envy.
Some of the mountain summits reach altitudes of 2,000 metres or more. Monte Vettore, the mountain we’re climbing, is a staggering 2,476 metres high – the tallest mountain in the national park. It is shaped like a horseshoe and mainly composed of light limestone. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not aiming to climb to the top of the mountain. We just want to wander around and enjoy the breathtaking views. Our hiking route snakes around, here and there, as if it doesn’t really know where it’s heading. Thankfully we know just where we want to be.