Italy is baking now (we’re hearing reports of 104 degrees in many cities) but when I visited in May, temps were in the 70s, the veggies and flowers were perfection, and the farmer’s market at Campo de’ Fiori (literally: field of flowers) in Rome made me want to go home and cook. For your eyeball-feasting pleasure, here are a few horticultural delights from northern Italy.
We’ll start with Murano, the famed glass-making islands near Venice, where it’s popular to insert the local products in flower boxes. Makes weeding much easier!
Calla lilies on Murano
Sprucing up a potted rosebush
Gorgeous orange climbing rose on Murano, maybe 'Crown Princess Margareta'?
Simple petunias—gorgeous in Venice
No expense spared for the pope's visit to Venice; each pillar base was festooned with flowers in the papal colors
Venetian gondola entirely decorated with roses in the papal colors
Windowsill basil with the colors of the Italian flag
True blue-purple colors of delphinium at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Early May is poppy season; these wildflowers were growing in the Roman Forum
Farmers cleaning green beans at Rome's Campo de' Fiori
Fresh herb selection at Rome's Campo de' Fiori
I've never seen fern leaves for sale at American farmers' markets. These were at at Rome's Campo de' Fiori
Freshly cleaned carciofi—artichokes—at Rome's Campo de' Fiori
Nemi strawberries from Lago di Nemi, a crater lake in the Alban Hills overlooking Rome, are prized for their sweetness and tiny size.
Zucchini blossom art at Rome's Campo de' Fiori