The Infiorata of Genzano is the proof of a centuries-old tradition: every year it is able to amaze and excite you with the inspiration of a new theme

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Every year near Rome, in the frame of the Castelli Romani, you have the chance to take part in an event that attracts thousands of visitors for the fascinating spectacle it can offer. The Infiorata of Genzano is in fact a unique event and takes place in the Lazio town on the occasion of Corpus Domini.

The vision of a floral carpet of about 2,000 square metres, composed of thousands of petals of carnations and other essences, creates a work of art of rare beauty that gives indescribable emotions. Its creation begins several days before the event and requires precision work and attention to detail involving many volunteers. It is a tradition involving many cities in Italy.

If you are planning to visit Rome at this period, you must find time to visit Genzano; we also recommend that you organise your tour with the Rome Pass, taking advantage of all the benefits it offers: entrance to various attractions, public transport and other concessions. Get ready to discover this spectacle of colours and scents with us and let yourself be involved in the Infiorata of Genzano!

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Origins and history of the Infiorata of Genzano

Infiorata of Genzano

The ancient tradition of the Infiorata of Genzano first took place many years ago, exactly in 1778, when the town's streets were coloured and filled with flower petals for the first time. Since then, every year, on the occasion of the feast of Corpus Christi, this world-famous religious, historical, but above all folkloristic event comes to life. From a religious point of view, the Infiorata is a feast that is intimately and deeply connected with this Catholic celebration: in fact, in conjunction with the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, flowers were scattered 'with full hearts'.

More than 350,000 flowers are required to realise the immense floral expanse covering the central Via Italo Belardi, divided into various 'pictures'. The petals are arranged by expert flower arrangers with skilful mastery, as if they were pigments on a painter's palette: the yellow of the broom, the red of the carnations, the green of the boxwood and the wild fennel combine to form singular 'carpets' that enchant every contemplation.

On the Saturday evening preceding Corpus Christi Sunday, the laying of the designs on the ground begins, followed by the laying of the petals, which is completed on Sunday morning to accompany the afternoon procession. On the Monday immediately following, the floral carpet is pervaded with music and colours, thanks to the music band and local folk group parading through the streets of the city. Finally, the 'spallamento' takes place, the most eagerly awaited moment, especially by young people and children, who run from the steps of the Church of Santa Maria and unravel all the paintings of flowers.

Over the 240 years of the event's existence, numerous illustrious personalities have honoured Genzano with their presence, including H.C. Andersen, N. Gogol, Massimo D'Azeglio and August Bournonville. In particular, the anecdote of Giuseppe Garibaldi during the 1875 Infiorata created in his honour remains famous. Invited to pass, and therefore to step on, the enormous carpet of flowers, it seems that he refused, declaring: 'Certain divine things are not to be stepped on!

Although the highlight of the event is concentrated in just three days, it must be emphasised that the Infiorata requires a long preparation period that practically knows no rest and that starts work as early as the end of the event itself. Basically, from January to December, several stages are planned so that the final and definitive display can take place in all its splendour and perfection.

The art of creating a floral carpet: curiosities about the Infiorata of Genzano

Floral carpets at the Genzano Infiorata

As the name itself suggests, Infiorata means that the undisputed protagonists are the flowers, whose petals are masterfully arranged on a veritable carpet using ancient techniques that are brought back to life and renewed thanks to the creative flair of the Master Florists. The carnation occupies a prominent place. With its corolla with its curled ends, it lends itself well to this creative 'mission'; its colours, with their numerous shades, add value to all creations, even if mainly the red carnation is used.

Each painting is strictly made with material from nature and the plant world. In addition to flowers, there is a long list of leaves, earth, bark - pine bark, black vine, maize, rice, sage, chilli pepper, wheat, soya, pine nut husks, oregano, coffee black, bran, pine cone black - all essential and necessary to reproduce, through the various shades and colours as realistically as possible, the subjects to be represented. These may be human figures, animals, geometric or decorative motifs: the aim is to represent a suggestion starting from the beauty of creation, flowers in fact, culminating in the art of floristry.

Because of the particular relevance of this spectacular artistic interpretation, the Ministry of Tourism, in 2011, declared the Infiorata of Genzano di Roma 'Heritage of Italy for Tradition', as it is 'an expression of the ability to promote tourism and the national image and to enhance the history and culture of the territory with an interpretation appropriate to today's times'.

This recognition is confirmed and reaffirmed every year with the presence of thousands of visitors who do not miss this suggestive blaze of colours. Fundamental if not indispensable, in addition to the flowers, is undoubtedly the role of the Master Florists who, from simple petals, are able to give life to authentic works of art capable of moving anyone who lays eyes on them.

Skilfully created colour effects, knowledge of plant species, treatments for their preservation, petal-laying techniques... This and much more is required by this ancient profession, a true art that is handed down from generation to generation to keep alive a tradition to be jealously guarded.

A unique sensory experience: enjoy this year's event

The Infiorata of Genzano is an event that involves all the senses. It is an opportunity to immerse oneself in a centuries-old tradition, to admire the beauty of the flowers and to experience an atmosphere of festivity and spirituality.

Its preparation takes place over months and each stage is a demonstration of craftsmanship and creativity. Between January and February, the sketches are conceived and prepared; in March, those to be made are chosen; in April, the flowers and plant essences needed for the flower arrangements are counted; in May, the work begins and in June, the 'stripping' of the flowers takes place, i.e. the separation of the petals from the corolla, which are stored in the municipality's caves.

After the event, between September and October, the dates of the next edition are chosen together with the religious community; finally, between November and December, the theme of the next edition is chosen. Each year, the event is inspired by a new subject. This year the subject comes directly from the words of Pope Francis, 'Let us dream as one humanity'. The vision is aimed at the hope of creating a better future, based on peace and solidarity between peoples.

Side events include, as always, exhibitions, concerts, shows and workshops for children. It is a unique opportunity to visit a special place of its own, made magical by the colourful and fragrant setting and the involvement of all the organisers and helpers who do a great job of organising and coordinating to offer an exciting show. This year's event is from 15 to 17 June in Via Italo Belardi, while on 1 and 2 June in Via Bruno Buozzi there is the Infiorata dei ragazzi, which involves children and young people from kindergartens to secondary schools.

Discover Genzano and its surroundings

The town of Genzano, in the province of Rome, is among the most populated in the Castelli Romani area and is located on the outer slope of the volcanic crater of Lake Nemi and along the Appian Way. At 465 metres above sea level, it was formerly a guard post at the lake. Besides the Infiorata, the town is also famous for the Genzano bread, the first ever to be awarded the I.G.P. mark by the European Union.

Among the villages around Rome, it stands out for its medieval historical centre and the beauty of its surroundings: we recommend you stay a few days to admire a true corner of paradise. It will be an opportunity to take a tour of the Castelli Romani, before returning to Rome and visiting the capital by taking advantage of the Rome Pass concessions.

If you arrive in Rome by plane, you can easily use the transport to the city centre and all destinations to organise your itinerary to discover suggestive and unmissable places. If, on the other hand, you are a lover of this type of event, you must not miss the Infiorata di Noto, another floral festival that exalts all the beauty of nature: in fact, it is included in the list of the most awaited events in Italy!

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