This breathtaking custom began in the 13th century, but the version that still graces the streets today began in the 17th century. The tradition goes back to the day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s feast in 1625. This year, on the 29th of June, the head florist of the Basilica, Benedetto Drei, created mosaics of flower petals at the Basilica.
In 1778, the tradition became linked to the Christian celebration of Corpus Domini. In Genzano, a huge carpet of flowers is laid out for the entire length of the center street to mark the occasion.
In Genzano (map), the flower carpet covers about 2,000 square meters, which is over 21,500 square feet. That is a bit under half of a football field. This display consists of 15 panels and uses about 500,000 flower blooms, petals, and seeds.
The festival itself lasts about 48 hours, then it all comes to an end. They are showcased from Friday through Sunday, with the main event and procession taking place on Sunday.
Some of the most notable displays include the towns of Orvieta in Umbria (map), Pienza in Tuscany (map), Potenzoni di Briatica in Calabria (map), and Brugnato in Liguria (map). They are also held at the Abbey of Chiaravelle della Columbia in Fidenza.
+ Three of Italy’s Best Infiorata Festivals. The Tradition of Making Carpets of Flowers (italymagazine.com)
The town of Spello (map) is another favorite flower carpet viewing location. This town began its festival in the 1930’s. It takes place on the ninth Sunday after Easter, when many of the main festivals take place. The event ends when the Bishop carries the blessed sacrament in a procession. (*Infiorate di Spello)