Lazio and Umbria Flower festivals
June is such a fab month to see Italy, it is literally a full on festival of flowers in Umbria and Lazio.
In Umbria, the stunning medieval town of Spello celebrate Corpus Domini (Latin for the body of Christ) with their ‘L’Infiorata di Umbria Festival’. Floral carpets (Infiorata) are laid out on the streets of the historical centre. Florists and artists create larger-than-life depictions of religious themes or re-creations of sacred art using only the petals and seeds. And local competitions are held to find the best artists and florists.
In Lazio, the Genzano Flower festival in the heart of the Roman hills has been going since 1778 and takes place on the 17-19 of June 2017.
Every year there is a different theme and this year the theme is ‘Pray for peace and dialogue between religions and cultures.”
Flower festivals were once upon a Latin time in honour of the arrival of Spring and celebrations of renewal and fertility and like many festivals, have their roots in ancient Rome.
It’s a stunning sight to see and the evening ahead of the festival, almost a thousand people work incessantly to create carpets and pictures made of flowers along the narrow streets. The floral creations cover streets throughout the historical centre in preparation to the passage of the Blessed Sacrament carried in a procession by the bishop on Sunday morning.
Once more simple flower designs were favoured, displaying only symbols linked to the Corpus Domini. However, since the 60’s the creation of a contest to recognize the best infiorata has stimulated the competition among the groups of artists and has led to an accelerated development and improvement in the quality of the compositions.
Flowers are collected in the wild and while the use of other parts of the plants, like leaves and berries is allowed, the preference is given to the use of petals only, either fresh or dried. The use of wood and any kind of synthetic material is severely prohibited. Exsiccation of the flowers must be carried out naturally in the sun. Dried petals are sometime gently chopped to improve their deployment in high resolution details and fine design elements.
The sketches are outlined in chalk first on the streets and then filled in flowers, although no glue is used. Each infiorata must have either a minimum length of 12 metres, or cover a surface of at least 24 square metres, depending on the nature of the composition: Quadro (single scene picture) vs Tappeto (floral carpet with repetitive geometrical patterns).
Umbria and the Roman hills (Castelli Romani) are home to some of Italy’s most beautiful towns and best kept secrets. Let us unlock those secrets for you, by organising a cooking class at a farmhouse followed by lunch and a trip to the flower festivals.
On the ninth Sunday after Easter and the weekend of 17-19 June.
In Spello, the main events are on Sunday 18th June, when a procession led by the bishop walks over the floral carpet at around 10.30am.
In honour of Corpus Domini (Latin for the body of Christ) celebrating the reality of the Body and blood of Jesus Christ Son of God in the Eucharist.
Genzano Flower Festival 2017
Spello Flower Festival 2017