To create the picture, the design is first sketched in chalk on the pavement. Soil is usually used to outline the design and then it's filled in with thousands of petals and seeds, much like the making of mosaics or tapestries (but with different materials). The entire process takes two or three days to complete. Often a religious procession takes place on the flower carpets after there are completed.
In 2009 we went to the infiorata at Brugnato and took photos as the tapestries were being created in the morning. Here are our Infiorata Pictures. This Infiorata video by James Martin shows the creation of flower petal art in Brugnato.
Where to See an Infiorata
One of the most famous infiorata festivals is in Noto, Sicily, usually held the weekend of the third Sunday in May. Noto is a beautiful Baroque town and UNESCO World Heritage site in southeast Sicily (see Sicily map). Read more about the Noto Infiorata.
On mainland Italy, the date for the infiorata is usually the Sunday of Corpus Domini (Corpus Christi), celebrated nine weeks after Easter. Top infiorate include:
- Bolsena, north of Rome (northern Lazio map), carpets about 3km of pavement with flower tapestries along the route for the Corpus Domini Sunday procession. The Miracle of Bolsena occurred in this town on Lake Bolsena. Bolsena-guida has infiorata photos and infiorata information.
- Brugnato, a small town in the La Spezia province of Liguria inland from the Cinque Terre (see Liguria map) holds an infiorata the Sunday of Corpus Domini. Work starts in the early morning to create flower tapestries along the streets of the town center. Visitors can view the flower art in the afternoon and there's a procession from the cathedral over the tapestries at 6pm.
- Genzano di Roma, south of Rome, has been holding an infiorata since 1778.
- Orvieto, in the 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 very popular place for infiorata.
- The Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba, near Fidenza in northen Italy's Emilia Romagna region (see Emilia Romagna map), is one of several abbeys that create flower tapestries inside for Corpus Domini.
See more June Festivals and Events in Italy.