Do you know what a firefly looks like?

Every night fireflies are flickering in the dark. They are like pretty little fairy lights in the garden. Our friend Jim caught one and we had a close up look.



As you can see they are really tiny. The light comes from under the rear end. We let our firefly go and he took off and was soon shining his light once again in the garden.

The lovely Italian word for firefly is la lucciola…such a pretty little thing deserves a delightful name.

My friend Paolo told me that when he was young the children in his village used to catch fireflies because they believed they could turn into coins overnight. They would keep them in an upside down glass and in the morning there would be coins under the glass.

There was even a little poem about them.

Lucciola, lucciola vien da me
Che ti do il pan del Re,
Pan del Re e della Regina,
Lucciola, lucciola vien vicina.

Of course, he now realises that his mother put the coins there but he admits to spending many hours wondering how it was possible for such a tiny insect to produce money.

31 thoughts on “Do you know what a firefly looks like?

  1. Wonderful creatures! Baroque painter Caravaggio used the powder of dead fireflies mixed with other chemical agents on his canvasses to “fix” the image, in a technique that could only be described as early photography.

  2. Every year I look forward to an evening on the patio, glass of wine in hand, listening to soft music and admiring the fireflys. Managed it a week or two ago on a rare warm evening nr Colle.

  3. When my nieces first saw one they thought it was Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. Last night we had thousands under the trees in the garden.

  4. NIce to know that fireflies are in Italy! We call them “lightening bugs” here in western Pennsylvania. They have been creating fireworks in my garden every evening for the past week – a wonderful sight!

  5. Not all of Italy has them because the wild boar love to eat the grubs that the fireflies develop from. We would have only one or two when we lived up in the hills, but now down here in the valley I am seeing many more. And no traces of wild boar. Martha

  6. We used to rent a house in San Cassiano, and the field next to the house was alive with fireflies end of May beginning of June; so much so that we used to switch off the lights in the living room and open the windows to look at the fireflies. For some reason I used to think they were only around towards end of May beginning of June but i’ve spotted them (en masse) in August.
    I don’t know whether thats normal for fireflies or not?

  7. Lucciola, lucciola vien da me Che ti do il pan del Re, Pan del Re e della Regina, Lucciola, lucciola vien vicina.

  8. We were there in June we had seen plenty of lighting bugs all over Italy bagni do Lucca is our vacation spot we are minutes away from Pisa,Lucca,beach,Florence,its the best place to live people there are so nice and helpful.we bought an apartment in bagni we love it so much it is my mother and fathers hometown.

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