Wild flowers of Sicily

Wild flowers of Sicily

So, it’s January and we’re right in the middle of winter. But I can already see the shoots of flowers poking through the ground and buds on trees. There’s no denying that winter is dark and gloomy but there’s a certain optimism when you see those first signs of spring gingerly making an appearance. Last Easter, on a family trip through eastern Sicily, I was struck by the variety of wild flowers that we came across, completely different to the blooms we have in the UK. So, if you’re in need of some springtime renewal, here are some floral highlights from Sicily.

The Graeco-Roman archaeological site of Syracuse

The Graeco-Roman archaeological site of Syracuse

Whilst in the south east of Sicily, we visited the Graeco-Roman archaeological site located just outside Syracuse. I had expected a dry and and arid landscape from my memories of a trip to Agrigento many years ago. However, the ruins at Syracuse were carpeted with spring blooms and grasses which added an unexpected visual layer of interest to our visit.

Wild flowers in the olive groves near Modica 

Wild flowers in the olive groves near Modica

We spent a few days staying on an agriturismo near Modica. The undulating fields of olive trees were separated by crumbling dry stone walls and all around were vivid purple, yellow and crimson flowers.

olive groves near Modica

Much of the farmland we passed was also dotted with giant yellow fennel plants which in places grew to quite a height and gazed over landscapes below. The fennel reappeared throughout the trip, including amid the green wheat fields of central Sicily.

Wild fennel overlooking the wheat fields of central Sicily

Wild fennel overlooking the wheat fields of central Sicily.

One of the highlights of our trip was driving into the interior of Sicily to stay near the precipitously situated town of Enna. At the top of the town sits a castle, completely deserted when we visited, and covered in spring blooms of bright orange, yellow and lilac.

Wild flowers amid the castle grounds in Enna

Wild flowers amid the castle grounds in Enna

An unexpected delight for my boys was discovering a sleepy railway museum at Villarosa near Enna, run by an elderly volunteer and his lively granddaughter who arrived with the keys after a quick phone call. The museum is housed in a collection of train carriages on a disused railway line adjacent to Villarosa station. The station itself felt like something from a science fiction movie, dated music was piped from somewhere, there was no staff but a train duly arrived to collect its one waiting passenger.

The carriages at the train museum of Villarosa

Yellow blooms surround the train carriages at Villarosa.

Yellow blooms surround the train carriages at Villarosa.

Whilst staying near Enna we went for a wander in a beautiful eucalyptus forest. Here we discovered that most delicate of flowers, the orchid.

Eucalyptus forest near Enna

Eucalyptus forest near Enna

Sicilian orchids

Sicilian orchids

More Sicilian orchids

Where have you come across impressive displays of wild flowers? Let me know in the comments below.

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32 Comments

  1. January 28, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    I love seeing pictures of flowers. I typically have the go to the arboretum or somewhere similar to see any, so it’s fun to see what’s out there in the wild. 🙂 Sicily looks so lush, verdant, and green!! It’s absolutely lovely.

    • January 28, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      Sicily is only verdant in spring. It’s patched by the summer!

  2. January 28, 2018 / 6:07 pm

    Love finding fields of flowers or towns covered in blooms! It just adds so much color! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • January 28, 2018 / 6:17 pm

      Yes, one of the reasons I love to travel in the spring!

  3. January 28, 2018 / 9:11 pm

    What a great idea to write about the wild flowers in Italy. I never visited Sicily and your post made me want to explore that area. Great pictures! #TheWeeklyPostcrd

    • January 28, 2018 / 9:44 pm

      Thanks! Spring is a great season to travel.

    • January 29, 2018 / 1:18 pm

      Yes, it’s great seeing flowers that we just don’t get in our hedgerows here.

  4. January 31, 2018 / 2:50 am

    Those are gorgeous photos! We haven’t been to Sicily yes, and are aching to go explore – especially now! We are blessed to have great wildflower displays close to home – Texas Bluebonnets cover the fields in the spring! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • January 31, 2018 / 7:10 am

      I have friends in Texas and spring is probably the time of year I’d visit them so maybe I’ll see your display one day!

  5. pigeonpairandme
    January 31, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    What a lovely post! It’s just the thing to perk me up. Feels as though spring’s in the air…..

    • January 31, 2018 / 8:42 pm

      Yes, always good to have something to promote a bit of optimism in January!

  6. February 1, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    Gorgeous! I lived in northern Italy for 3.5 years and while I saw a lot of Italy, we never made it to Sicily or Puglia. We thought we had more time. On my list to return to for sure. #farawayfiles.

    • February 1, 2018 / 12:52 pm

      I love northern Italy, so much to see and do. I really want to return to Piedmonte for all that amazing food and wine!

      • February 1, 2018 / 3:33 pm

        If you get a chance go to the wine festival in Alma. It was so much fun. Great wines, good food, beautiful countryside. Actually, I should write a blog post about it! LOL.

  7. February 2, 2018 / 1:42 am

    Gorgeous photos of beautiful Sicily. We were there in Spring last year too and absolutely loved it. I have to admit I was a bit freaked out by the eucalyptus trees being so far from home but it turns out they are all over southern Europe! #farawayfiles

    • February 2, 2018 / 8:17 am

      Yes, I always associate them with Aus too! Saw some lovely forests of eucalyptus in Portugal as well.

  8. Clare Thomson
    February 2, 2018 / 2:43 pm

    What a quirky place for a museum. Love it! These wild flowers are just stunning. I loved Sicily in September and would really like to return especially to stay on an agriturismo. #FarawayFiles

    • February 2, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      The contrast in the landscape from spring to summer/autumn is incredible. Everything was so green and lush! And the museum was brilliant, quite an unexpected highlight.

  9. February 2, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    So lovely! I think Sicily must have a similar climate to parts of Southern California? We visited some beautiful fields of wildflowers in the desert last spring after a record year of rain we had what is called a Super Bloom! It was pretty stunning! #farawayfiles

    • February 5, 2018 / 7:54 pm

      Yes, they probably do have a similar climate. It never gets too cold in Sicily. I’d love to see some desert blooms.

  10. February 3, 2018 / 11:20 pm

    I really needed this post right about now. It’s freezing here! I love Italy, but have never been to Sicily. Would love to go some day. #farawayfiles

    • February 4, 2018 / 2:16 pm

      It’s rather chilly here too and grey!

  11. February 4, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Looks lovely, I’ve always been attracted to Sicily but haven’t got round to it yet. I’ve got Lake Como and Tuscany later this year. Should extend the visit to Sicily. 🙂

  12. February 5, 2018 / 6:49 pm

    What a welcome splash of Spring colour! I can’t wait for the seasons to change here in the UK. A bit more colour and a lot less grey would be wonderful! #MondayEscapes

    • February 5, 2018 / 6:56 pm

      It has been incredibly cold this winter hasn’t it? I’m enjoying saying “this summer” about my future plans rather than “next summer”, it all feels a lot closer!

  13. February 5, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    Gosh I think you’ve persuaded me to try it in Spring as it is so dry in the summer and this woudl bring a whole new angle to it. Thanks for linking up to Monday Escapes.

    • February 5, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      I hadn’t expected the green interior, a really pleasant surprise. I’ll have to return to Enna in autumn to see the yellow wheat fields!

  14. February 14, 2018 / 3:57 pm

    I love seeing the wildflowers at the ruins. We found them all over the castle ruins on the Danish island of Bornholm last summer. The buds are just beginning in Copenhagen as well and I can feel the light getting longer every day. Can’t wait for flowers again! Thanks for sharing this loveliness with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • February 15, 2018 / 7:16 am

      Yes, the slightly longer days is filling me with hope!

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