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 landscape. 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 Vado di Corno.
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 walk-up in a few weeks time.
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 walking 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 Abruzzo.