IN PHOTOS: Italian village bursts into bloom in annual ‘flowering’

Every year, the fields of Umbrian village Castelluccio come alive with colour as part of an annual spectacle known as 'la fioritura' (the flowering or blooming).

IN PHOTOS: Italian village bursts into bloom in annual 'flowering'
The lentil fields of Castelluccio, in central Italy. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Poppies, cornflowers, daisies, violets and others paint the fields in rainbow hues, and tourists flock to take in the sight from the Apennine's highest village.

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Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP 

La fioritura takes place in the Piano Grande – 'Great Plain' – beneath the Sibillini Mountains, in the summer months between late May and July.

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP 

This year the blooms peaked in early July.

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP 

Castelluccio is well-known in Italy and among chefs worldwide for the lentils that grow in these fields, which have Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) meaning they sell for a higher price due to the origin and quality. The town's lentils sell at around €12 per kilo.

The colourful spectacle began with local farmers leaving their fields fallow after the harvest, allowing wildflowers to seed themselves.  

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP 

Since the 2016 earthquakes, the annual 'flowering' has taken on a deeper meaning.

The town was badly hit by the series of tremors, and the bright colours ahead of the September harvest are an important symbol of Castelluccio coming to life again.


Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP 

The natural event has become a popular tourist attraction, to the point where a thousand visitors descended last weekend alone and cars lined up for kilometres to reach the fields.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Local authorities are considering introducing a booking system in future years, as well as shuttle buses to carry visitors to the plain.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

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