We want to come back to Tuscany to see the poppies bloom. Is early May, mid May or late May the best time to see them in full bloom? Is there anything else that migtht make a trip better at certain times of May? (festivals or other events, etc?)
How wonderful to hear from other people who, like me, are enchanted by poppies. I once did a whole series of photos of poppies in Tuscany. Maybe I should post them on our website!
Poppies are usually in abundance by about the second week of May and last for a few weeks. I can recommend a really good wine festival in Montespertoli, about 20 miles south of Florence, called Mostra del Chianti or Festa del Vino. It runs this year from May 30th to June 7th and has food stalls, parades, live bands, sometimes a salsa-dancing night and an open-air restaurant in the main piazza. It showcases wines from around the town of very high quality.
To get to Montespertoli from Florence you take the FI-PI-LI highway west - the main road to Pisa and Livorno, and get off at Ginestra Fiorentino and follow the signs for about another 10 miles. A very pleasant little town with a strong community spirit, so an afternoon and evening spent there at the wine festival would certainly give you a taste of real Italian small-town living.