Tuscany, Italy (2015) - Sunflowers have blossomed in Tuscany since the 18th Century. They were introduced to the European continent by explorers returning home from the Americas. Today, travelers from all across the globe schedule their Italian excursions for late July so they can drive through the rolling Tuscan countryside and view these very sunflowers at their peak.
I had no idea about this when I visited in 2015. Through random chance, my lovely bride and I traveled through Italy on our way to Croatia for work, and we decided to visit Tuscany mainly because we had heard it was beautiful.
We began the morning intending to do some wine tasting along the River Anro around our home base of Montelupo Fiorentino, when we drove over a hill by Casone and saw acres of goldenrod yellow spread out before us. It was breathtaking to see their vibrancy in contrast to the parallel rows of grape vines and the rich red soil. At first, we didn’t know what it was, but as we got closer, we saw hundreds of thousands of these giant flowers reaching up to the sun.