During one of our stays at the Podere we were lucky to happen upon an interesting and beautiful religious display in the center of the little town near us, San Donato in Poggio.
It is called an infiorata (fiori meaning flowers in Italian). Many towns in Italy make an infiorata during the months of May or June to celebrate Corpus Domini (Corpus Christi), which is nine weeks after Easter. Flower petals are used to create amazing works of art on the streets of their city – it is a striking sight, even in little San Donato.
Each street “tapestry” is created first by sketching the design in chalk on the pavement. Soil is usually used to outline the design and then it is filled in with flower petals and seeds – much like a mosaic. The entire process takes days to complete and many people help with the construction. After they are completed and the townspeople have had a chance to view the masterpieces on their city streets, there is a religious procession on the flower carpets to the church.
One of the most famous infiorata festivals is in Noto, Sicily. Noto is a beautiful Baroque town in southeast Sicily.
Another beautiful display is in Brugnato, a small town in the La Spezia province of Liguria, inland from the Cinque Terre. Orvieto, in the central Italy region of Umbria, has a costumed procession with over 400 people and the streets are decorated with flower art.
Spello, also in Umbria, is another town to view a fantastic infiorata, like those below.
Corpus Domini and Infiorata dates: The Sunday of Corpus Domini in 2016 was the last weekend in May, while in 2017 it will fall on June 18-19. If you are in Italy around that time, look for infiorata or flower petal displays in front of many Italian churches or along city streets.
If these colorful flowers make you think of Summer, you’ll enjoy these summertime recipes - Happy Hour at the Grill - Italian Style.