Hunting for sunflowers in Tuscany can be an enjoyable experience. This post gives you a little information about when and where to find sunflowers in Tuscany during their blooming season, to admire their beauty and the bright yellow color with the blue of the sky as background. And of course, to take great pictures as memories of your travel in Tuscany to show to your friends once back home.
If you don’t already know, sunflower fields change every year following the rules of the crop rotation, so if last year you came to Tuscany, and you remember to have seen them in a certain place, it is not granted you will see them this year again in the same field.
At the beginning of June, the first sunflowers start to appear, but they are still green. They will show all their yellow beauty, not before July, and you will have the opportunity to see them until the beginning of August, weather permitting.
Best places to go hunting sunflowers in Tuscany (from North to South)
- Massarosa in the coastal Versilia area, on the shore of Massaciuccoli Lake.
Sunflowers around Pisa Area
- San Piero a Grado
- Strada SGC FI-PI-LI, (exit Lavoria and Vicarello)
- Vecchiano, on the road to the beach
In the province of Livorno
- Cecina, La Cinquantina area
- Mugello Valley
- Bilancino Lake, direction of Florence and the Villa Medici in Caffaggiolo
- San Gimignano. Outside San Gimignano, stop next to the lovely restaurant of Taverna di Bibbiano. Beside the restaurant, you can admire a wonderful field of sunflowers.
- Val d’Orcia
- Val di Chiana. Coming up from Rome along the Autostrada del Sole, on your right-hand side, midway between the exit for Chiusi/Chianciano Terme and Sinalunga. If you are driving on the opposite side, on the left, you will see the sunflowers field right after the exit of Sinalunga.)
- Monte Amiata
- Regional Park of Maremma (Parco Naturale dell’Uccellina)
Equipment you need for taking beautiful pictures of sunflowers in Tuscany
You can always use your smartphone to take a good-quality pictures of sunflowers. Moreover, if you have your reflex or mirrorless use a wide-angle lens of at least 24 mm, a super-telephoto (300 mm and over), and do not forget a microlens for details!
The myth of Clizia, a fascinating legend about sunflower
The young nymph Clizia was lost in love with Apollo the Greek god of the sun. She was following him all day while he was driving his chariot throughout the sky. Apollo was first flattered and a little bit touched by that devotion. He believed to be in love with her and decided to seduce her, which was not too difficult for him.
However, he got tired of Clizia’s love. He fell in love with the mortal Leucotoe, and he abandoned Clizia. One day he transformed himself into Leucotoe’s mother, and entering the room where she was weaving with her maids, he asked them to leave him alone with the girl and he seduced her revealing his real nature.
The jealous Clizia planned revenge and revealed the loving affair to Leucotoe’s father, who punished her by burning her alive. Apollo tried to resuscitate her, but fate was opposed, and he transformed her grave into an incense plant. At this point, Apollo, lost the beloved Leucotoe, no longer wanted to see Clizia, who began crying uninterruptedly for nine whole days, sitting immobile on the ground, watching her love crossing the sky on his chariot of the sun.
She refused food and water, fed only with dew and tears, and she never moved from that place. Clizia set her face to Apollo when he was passing, following his lap with her eyes. Apollo then decided to transform her into a flower, and slowly her body stiffened, turning into a slim but strong stem, her feet stuck into the ground and her hairs became a yellow corolla.
She turned into a beautiful gold-colored flower, the sunflower, able to change inclination during the day as the sun moves in the sky.