Between April and June, Italy dresses in colors. From the tip of the heel to the tip of the boot, let's discover the Infiorata Festival in Italy
Infiorata Festival in Italy was born to celebrate Corpus Domini and greet the arrival of the warm season, between the end of April and the beginning of June, splendid designs made up of delicate flower petals color the streets of the villages and towns of the peninsula. From events to celebrate the religious tradition, over time Infiorata Festival have been transformed into fine works of art.
Meticulous artists compete every year in the creation of accurate designs composed of thousands of petals and plant elements, without any artificial glue or dye. Incredible scented mosaics, joy for sight and smell, an unmissable opportunity that celebrates faith, nature, and art. Also, an opportunity to get to know or see again cities and villages under a new guise.
Infiorata festival in Italy
Infiorata Festival is the marriage between spirituality and nature in which in many cities the whole local community participates, creating an atmosphere of celebration and sharing. The evening before Corpus Domini, called the night of flowers, the baskets with the petals are brought, divided by color, in each place fresh or dried local flowers are mainly used, collected by volunteers or by the flower masters themselves in the days and months Before. Subsequently, the cartoons with the drawings inspired by religious and landscape subjects are spread on the ground, then slowly the drawings are covered with petals, and this continues almost until dawn.
Corpus Domini (Body of the Lord) is generally celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost (therefore the dates change every year), it is a religious celebration accompanied by processions, very heartfelt at a popular level. The tradition of creating paintings using flower petals is believed was born by the work of Benedetto Drei, head of the floristry of the Vatican Basilica and his son Pietro, who used "leafed and chopped flowers to emulate the works of the mosaic" on June 29, 1625, for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome. While the first Infiorata set up on Corpus Domini dates back to 1743 and took place in Genzano (Rome), where it was created in honor of the Madonna del Cuore (painting by Sebastiano Conca). Since then, the tradition has spread throughout the peninsula and especially in central Italy.
From Noale to Noto, passing through Spello, here are the most beautiful and fascinating Infiorate Festival of Italy that we recommend you don't miss.
Infiorata festival of northern Italy
For our review we start from Noale. We are in Veneto in the province of Venice, a carpet of 100 square meters covers the main road of the town up to the ancient tower of the Bells. The Infiorata for Noale is one of the most awaited events, in addition to having an artistic and religious value for the town, it represents a team effort, which tightens social ties. Even kindergarten children collaborate in the work. Petals, herbal essences, cereals, stems, and natural materials become ornamental paintings alongside which the corpus domini procession passes in the evening.
Liguria, by its colorful and flowery nature, has several Infiorata Festival in its territory. It is difficult to say which is the most beautiful. Surely, we cannot avoid mentioning the one of Pietra Ligure (Savona) which every three years hosts Pietra Ligure in fiore: the exhibition of artistic Infiorata, is the largest floral display in Europe. All the squares in the center are filled with representations of famous works of art or original drawings by the flower masters. More than 800 masters from 40 Italian and European cities start working on Saturday, the public can browse and follow the entire working process. The works remain on display until Sunday evening. The next edition - despite us - is scheduled for 2025.
Still in the province of Savona in Sassello, Infiorata Festival has taken the place of an ancient custom: the infrascata, in which green branches decorated the route of the Corpus Domini procession. This year it will take place on June 23rd. While in Brugnato, in the province of La Spezia, the districts compete to see who creates the most beautiful floral carpet.
Finally, still in Liguria: Diano Marina, in the province of Imperia, on the coast of the Riviera di Ponente two thousand square meters of color invade the streets of the center, fresh and dried petals fill accurate designs on the paving of the main streets up to the square in front to the municipality. This year it is scheduled for June 11th.
We close the northern review with Emilia-Romagna region, we are in Alseno (Piacenza), a village from the Roman era where stands the Cistercian abbey of Chiaravalle (1136). It is the abbey that hosts Infiorata Festival every year, this year will take place on June 18th. Atypical compared to the traditional Infiorata Festival, the one of Alseno is set up inside: in the central nave of the Abbey, paintings with religious subjects are surrounded by elaborate floral frames. The peace of the Gothic cloister and the frescoes are doubly worth the visit.
Infiorata festival in central Italy
Moving on to central Italy, Infiorata Festival are truly numerous, it is difficult not to resist the temptation to see at least one.
Let's start with the rolling hills of Tuscany. In the small village of Farnetella, in the Val di Chiana (Siena), the Infiorata Festival is scheduled for 10 and 11 June and accompanied by a literature, music and gastronomy festival; innovative and independent artists will enliven the streets of the village by merging with the colors of the Infiorata. While the traditional Infiorata of Fucecchio (Florence) this year was set up on Women's Day, last March Women architects of their lives adorned the streets of the city, framing the floral figures with the typical boxwood sprigs.
Verdant Umbria excels for its Infiorata in Spello, a one-and-a-half-kilometer route orchestrated by flower masters who work on their designs throughout the year. Over the years the designs have become increasingly refined to communicate increasingly complex religious-social messages, which require careful planning. The competition held since the 1960s has helped to encourage the technique of the masters. To create these works of art, the use of flowers, whole or petals or even chopped, fresh or dried and berries or leaves is permitted. It is the flower masters who go in search of the necessary material in the surrounding countryside. The designs can be large from 24 to 70 square meters, while the floral carpets go from a minimum of 12 meters to a maximum of 15 meters. The Infiorata this year will take place on 10 and 11 June, but a series of collateral events are already planned from the week before. The highlight, as in other cases, is the night of flowers, held between Saturday and Sunday of Corpus Domini in which the streets of the picturesque Umbrian village come alive with floral artists of all ages. The Infiorata Festival is less spectacular in nearby Assisi, where, however, the city alone is certainly worth a visit and so, why not during the days of the Infiorata Festival, which always takes place on the weekend of 10 and 11 June.
Among the most famous Infiorata Festival in Marche region we have the of Montefiore dell'Aso (Ascoli Piceno), a very long carpet runs through the town where the origins of this tradition seem to date back to the goddess Flora, as well as the name of the city, also here on 10 and 11 June. We also mention the floral display of Cupra Montana (Ancona), while in the province of Pesaro and Urbino we have the Infiorata of Fermignano and Piobbico, a wonderful medieval village at the foot of the hill on which the Brancaleoni castle stands, here the event takes the name of La Fiorita del Corpus Domini and your eyes will not be able to detach themselves from the yellows of the brooms, which skillfully mix with the red of the roses and the green of the savory.
The grand tour of Infiorata Festival then arrives in Lazio, here we start with what is considered the largest, that of Alatri (Frosinone). In Alatri Infiorata Festival is particularly felt, probably due to the presence in the historic center of the relic of the Eucharistic Miracle which took place in 1228 and depicted on a series of frescoes on the walls of the cathedral of Alatri, the relic is kept in the same church. From 10 to 12 June also the beautiful Infiorata Festival of Genzano di Roma, a town located 30 km from the capital. The laying of the petals here begins at dawn on Sunday itself, the flowers collected in the previous days are kept in the municipal caves. Over twenty varieties of flowers chosen to represent all shades of color. The drawings remain on the ground until Monday afternoon when the children in the characteristic Spallamento dismantle the paintings with handfuls of petals, real battles of color for the happiness of children. The very evocative theme of this year will be I am the other. The town of Gerano, on the other hand, hosts the oldest Infiorata Festival in Italy we are in the Giovenzano valley, in the middle of Lazio countryside and here the Infiorata was born between 1743 and 1760 to celebrate the Madonna of the heart (eighteenth-century work by Sebastiano Conca). In Gerano, the flower masters work directly on the ground for their sketches, drawing figures with chalk that will then be filled with the colors and scents of nature. In Gerano it is also possible to visit the Museo dell'Infiorata opened in 2003, which preserves the historical tools used by the flower artists and allows visitors to take a virtual tour of past editions. In Gerano this year it will be on 29 and 30 April.
We also point out Infiorata of the city of Bolsena in the Viterbo area, in upper Lazio which will take place from 10 to 11 June. We close the road of the flowers in central Italy with Abbruzzo region and the Infiorata of the picturesque town of Roccascalegna (Chieti), nestled among the wild valleys of Abbruzzo, in this village there is also a beautiful castle. A curiosity reveals to us that on the day of Corpus Domini the first who will be able to step on the noble carpet of flowers will be the parish priest of the church, who after mass will go out in procession showing the most holy sacrament.
Infiorata festival in south Italy
For the south let's start from the capital of Molise: Campobasso, where the tradition of the Infiorata dates to 1911 and will take place on May 31st. Religious and geometric designs, representations of the Virgin Mary to pay homage to the Madonna dei Monti will cross the city. In Campobasso, whose ancient part is located on the slope of a hill dominated by the castle of Monforte, the Infiorata is linked to the community of Capuchin friars of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Capuchins undertook to renovate and restructure the church, which was inaugurated on 30 May 1911, the following day the statue of the Madonna was carried through the streets of the town and with her the Infiorata, which has always been celebrated for the anniversary of 31 May.
Arriving in Campania, the Infiorata of San Bartolomeo in Galdo (Benevento) stands out, here, in addition to flowers, petals and other natural elements, are also used colored salt, seeds, sawdust and coffee grounds to decorate the designs. A continuum of shapes and colors crosses the entire historic center, but then extends to the various districts, even reaching the suburbs. Also in Campania is the Infiorata of Cusano Mutri (Benevento). The dates of both are still being defined.
Running towards the heel of the peninsula we find the Infiorata of Patù (Lecce), in the lower Salento, at the southern end of Capo di Leuca. Here simple flowers are used with intense colors that reflect this land, the petals can also be ground to create a powder capable of defining the details of the designs. The Infiorata is an opportunity to visit this wonderful Salento village dressed up for Corpus Domini. Slipping into Calabria we find the Infiorata of Potenzoni di Briatico (Vibo Valenza), a small fraction of just 250 souls. Four districts competing to best pay homage to this important anniversary, which brings the town back to life, especially young people who try to think and create images. We cannot fail to point out the Infiorata of the islands: in Sicily, apart from the famous infiorata of Noto, we find the one of San Pier di Niceto (Messina), the origins of the Infiorata Sampierese are lost in the eighteenth century, when it was customary to sprinkle the path of the procession of the Corpus Domini of rosemary, flower petals and broom and displaying blankets and sheets with floral motifs on the balconies, today it is even two kilometers long and every year it attracts visitors from other Italian regions and also from abroad. We conclude this long floral itinerary with Tortolì (Nuoro), on the central eastern coast of Sardinia, this year the Infiorata has reached its X edition and took place on 15 and 16 April.