Home Gran Sasso & Maiella Mountains Violas vie with the Purple Haze for Vado di Corno’s Crown
Gran Sasso Crocus Fields

Violas vie with the Purple Haze for Vado di Corno’s Crown

by Sam Dunham

Striding purposefully is the best way to traverse the Campo Imperatore ; shepherds, sheep, horses even the Nordic skiers do so to cross this inspiring lunar basin . The beginning of May, however, behoves tiptoeing thanks to the carpet of crocus flowing across what appears to be a high valley garden up at .

Crocus Valley Corno Grande

Like all good carpets, these pastures are not one thread and their purple haze is interwoven with a profusion of colours from the  blue, and white pansy violets (viola calcarata var),  open-mouthed pink fumaria sp, startling azure gentians and yellow anemone (anemone ranunculoides).  This is just the beginning, over the next 2 months all will be revealed I am sure with many a gasp & sigh as the pattern changes and the remaining snow disappears, the sun beating down to encourage a vivid floral competition with its hot rays – I can’t wait to take another up in a few weeks time.

Early Spring Meadow Flowers

What was quite startling, even at the beginning of May, was the unquietness; up so high, without a tree to be seen (our dog managed to find the one & only stick, a one, that a shepherd must have left behind) you don’t quite expect harmonious birdsong that accompanies as you deftly avoiding planting your footprints on any precious flowers.  Who needs to visit manmade Tulips in Amsterdam when nature alone bestows such floral wonders up high in .