Every year, in May and June, Infiorata festivals take place in many Italian towns, which can be visited on Italy Private Tours.
“Infiorata” is translated from Italian as “decorated with flowers”. During the festivals streets are covered with flower petals to create temporary masterpieces. The tradition as we know it today goes back to the 17th century when the head florist at the Vatican created the first flower petal carpet for the Saints Peter and Paul’s feast.
Usually the local and international artists participating in Infiorata sketch their designs in chalk on the ground the day before the celebration begins. Then the designs are filled with flower petals in various colors to create elaborate, often religious, images.
One of the most famous Infiorata festivals is held in the beautiful Baroque town of Noto, Sicily, on the third weekend of May. Via Nicolaci is covered with flower mosaics and everyone can admire the street gallery on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday morning children run through the temporary artworks which symbolizes the constant destruction and renewal.
The Infiorata in Genzano, south of Rome, attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world in June. The petal mosaics created from 500,000 flowers cover about two thousand square meters. A beautiful Corpus Domini procession walks down the center of the carpet of flowers and at the end of the festival children run down the staircase from the church of Santa Maria, kicking and jumping on the flower tapestries to everyone’s delight.
In Spello, Umbria, almost one thousand people work the night before the Corpus Domini feast, on the ninth Sunday after Easter, to create flower mosaics on the narrow streets in town. For this Infiorata mostly wild flowers, fresh and dry, are used and the preparation continues all year.
Other beautiful Infiorata festivals that can be visited on private tours of Italy are in Orvieto, Bolsena, Siracusa and many other towns across the country. Infiorata celebrations are always accompanied by parades, music and a great festive atmosphere.
Photos by: Carlo Guarneri, Roberto Composto, Francesco Piasentin