Italy has a long-standing civilisation that has dramatically changed the natural landscape over the past few thousand years. Much of the original flora and fauna have been wiped out over time. When one thinks of Italy nowadays, they dream of the rolling pastures, abundant crops, and extensive vineyards that make up the landscape.
The flora of the Italy of today has been primarily established by humankind. The landscape is dotted with olive groves, pines, and cypresses. Vineyards and crop fields take up the majority of free space, so there are very few sections of untouched nature left. Yet, nature always finds a way to make itself known even if it is only the tiniest of flowers.
Come springtime, the grassy fields and rolling pastures will be adorned with stunning bursts of colour. Bright red poppies and white Marguerite daisies bring smiles to many. Wild roses and yellow gorse can be seen along the road as well as many types of orchids. Bee orchids, Orchiaceras bergonii orchids, and Pyramidal orchids are easy to spot if you know what to look for.
Initially, the Italian peninsula was home to species like ibexes, chamois, wolves, bears, marmots, and eagles. Now, it is rare that you will see one of these creatures wandering free in the wild. However, a few can still be found in isolated natural parks.
Today, you will still find smaller species out in the wild. One beautiful creature that can be found is the butterfly. Tuscany is located on the butterfly migration path from Africa to Northern Europe. Sixty species can be found making their way north at the beginning of Spring, including the very well-known Painted Lady. Other insects can be found among the grassy areas such as ascalaphids, dragonflies, and even hornets.
Italy is also home to 19 species of snake, and you may see one or two along your walking holiday. While most are harmless and unaggressive, it is best to stay out of their way. Frogs are also common to see when nearby water, and you will likely witness a lizard or two basking in the sun as you travel along the paths.
You may expect to see birds on the trail, but you likely won’t. Birds are not all that common in Italy given to the lack of resources available to them. However, you may be able to spot raptors, hoopoe, or owls in the evening.