Spring turns to summer and blooms and buds are bursting with life and growth. No matter where you live, flowers are making their grand entrance and the air is filled with a lovely fragrance. From daffodils to hydrangeas, and roses to peonies, the season is flush with color. It’s time to celebrate the flower.
Italians welcome the beauty of the season with a brilliant and artistic flower festival called Infiorata. Introduced by Catholics in the late 1700s to mark the Sunday of Corpus Domini, this feast for the senses is celebrated throughout Italy.
Infiorata means “decorated with flowers,” and Italians do just that. Stretching more than a mile in many cities and consisting of hundreds of thousands of blooms and seeds, locals put their artistic skills to great use as they create incredible flower panels that carpet the streets. A competitive tradition, these patient artisans spend months producing the designs and then sketch them on the ground with chalks, coffee grounds, and soil. Then comes the meticulous effort of filling in these mosaic masterpieces with mounds of flower petals and greenery.
Designs are typically themed, and the creative result is brilliant. Teams consisting of anyone from students and coworkers, to families and friends, everyone gets in on the fun. Gathering the day before and working feverishly through the night, often shrouded in tents for secrecy, they are removed by Sunday morning for the visual reveal.
Once complete, tourists and locals along with official judges gather to walk the long stretch and view the lush petal-filled streets taking in the artistry and aromas. End-to-end, the vista of a thick petaled floor is fantastic. The blanketed streets can be seen for what feels like miles and the perfumed air transports you to a lush meadow.
Later in the morning, and after all that hard work, the official religious procession departs from the town church walking through the flower panels. A long-held tradition, the children race through leaving petals scattered and skewed to the winds before the final cleanup.
And sadly, that’s the end to a fantastic, albeit short-lived, annual custom.
We love the thought of filling our own surroundings with loads of fresh flowers, but we’d rather keep them around for just a few more days.
If you feel the same as we do, why not peruse our handmade Italian vases and bring a bit of Infiorata Spring living into your home. No need for back-breaking work here, just insert your lovely stems into one of our many colorful handmade vases or exquisitely hand-crafted pitchers. Both are perfect for a brilliant floral display. Mix and match with our other ceramic dinnerware, open the windows and doors, and welcome the warmth and freshness of this glorious season.
Infiorata Photo Credit: alessandro0770