In Arezzo I came across a snack bar called “Il Girasole” or “The Sunflower.” The presence of a snack bar named after the sunflower shows the flower’s prevalence in this area. We have previously discussed the sunflower, more appropriately the Helianthus anuus, both on the walk through the countryside and in class. The sunflower is heliotropic; the flower of the sunflower rotates so that it is always facing the sun. The sunflower is valued for its beauty and for its use in Italian cuisine. For example, a vendor at the street market in Passignano sul Trasimeno, a small town on Lake Trasimeno, sold sunflower spread.
The sunflower is also of interest for the elements of style that it exhibits. The sunflower has an upright form, so it is suited to placement against a wall or other vertical structure. The sunflower forms a hard, straight line that encourages movement of the eye up to the head of the flower. The flower itself is a brilliant example of color. The bright yellow of the petals is tempered by the cooler green of the sunflower’s stem and leaves. The texture of the sunflower is coarse. The flower is imposing, with large petals and leaves. The scale of the sunflower contributes to its coarse texture. The sunflower is very large, growing up to six feet tall. It dwarfs its smaller companions, like the delicate poppy, and it can even grow taller than most humans. The sunflower’s scale and other elements of style make it a unique and impressive species.