The Flower Festival is an ancient tradition that takes place on the feast of Corpus Christi in many of the most charming medieval towns in Umbria. A few days before the festival, the streets of the town are covered with a multi-colored carpet that amazes visitors: the streets that will be traversed by the procession bearing the Blessed indeed are covered with mosaics of flowers.
The magnificent mosaics using flowers and petals instead of the blocks to draw landscapes and views, in practice, you can see a sort of floral frescoes.
Tradition dell’Infiorata in Umbria is both a manifestation of refined craftsmanship, of enthusiastic popular participation and delicate religious sensibilities.
The impressive mosaics of flowers that color and enliven the streets of the typical Umbrian villages who welcome this ancient tradition, in fact, stem from a religious event of great importance, namely the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi.
The origin is the celebrated Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena; the enthusiasm and devotion aroused by the prodigy brought thousands of people to sprinkle flower petals on the path traveled by the miraculous relic to the Cathedral of Orvieto.
In fact, however, the event dell’Infiorata also has a deep connection with ancestral traditions of nature: most likely this event that takes place in early June is grafted onto pre-existing celebrations propitiation linked to harvesting of agricultural products.
The “groups infioratori” of citizens’ associations play a meticulous work that uses the vegetation of the surroundings as a palette, and keeps alive a precious craftsmanship which is the heritage of this territory.
It is a tradition widespread and felt in Umbria: the Flower Festival of Spello is certainly the most famous and known among the general public, but there are many other towns that host a similar event, as Cannara, San Giustino, Torgiano, City della Pieve and Paciano.
One of the most interesting aspects of the tradition dell’Infiorata is the special ability of infioratori to know and select the most suitable flowers to represent the colors that will be used in the mosaics: the intense yellow of the brooms to the green of wild fennel, the search takes place on slopes of the gentle hills of Umbria.
The traditional process of realization of floral mosaics that enliven the celebration of Corpus begins with the collection of petals which are then passed through the processing called “capatura”, through which the necessary colors are obtained by grinding and pounding of flowers. It is then made with white chalk sketch on the way: it is within the lines drawn that will be placed colored petals to compose the figures you want.