I love wildflowers, hiking near water, and the possibility of seeing eagles, so when I read about the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro I planned our first stop in Sicily to be Scopello, a charming little town about 1 1/2 hours southwest of Palermo. (A great place to stay is Tranchina, and be sure to have dinner there too.)
The reserve is within walking distance of the village and was saved from developers by environmental groups during the seventies. Wow, was this place worth saving.
On the drive there, we had to pull the car to the side of the road. A jean-sporting shepherd who looked more American than biblical was steering his flock to greener pastures and I was beside myself taking pictures. Look at those little spring lambkins pulling up the rear.
Once parked in the Riserva’s lot, here’s what we walked through:
I fell in love with the spontaneous miniature gardens filling cracks in the porous limestone.
Then I saw the first of many green Sicilian lizards. He’s standing stone still in the hopes that I don’t see him.
Wild fennel was all over the place, here and elsewhere.
One of many strange and beautiful plants I had never seen before–or since. Is it a type of euphoriba?
Wildflowers and flowering shrubs and trees at every turn.