Le Infiorate di Spello

For almost three years now (since we moved to Italy), I have had Le Infiorate di Spello on my “must-do” travel list and this year we finally made it!  Le Infiorate is a manifestation/festival that takes place every year on the ninth Sunday after Easter, celebrating the Corpus Domini feast.  Although there are similar demonstrations in other cities, the festival in the small Umbrian town of Spello is considered the most impressive.  Over 1,000 artists, most of them locals, begin work Saturday and work through the night creating elaborate flower carpet scenes/mosaics along the streets of Spello.  Visitors come from all over Italy to see the workers create their masterpieces on Saturday and see the finished products on Sunday morning.  On Sunday, at about 11am, the church procession takes place on the flower carpets, virtually destroying the work that was created just hours before.  It’s truly a temporary art installation!

The custom of throwing flowers to celebrate the Corpus Domini feast is a documented tradition around the world.  In 1831, Le Infiorate di Spello developed into an artform with the change to laying of flower carpets.  These days, the artworks are judged as a part of Spello’s Infiorate competition, with categories for “quadri” or paintings (the flowers are put together to make scenes), “tappeti” or carpets (which are generally more geometric in design), and a juniors group.  This year, Filippo Petrucci won with an amazing piece.

Winner for the "quadri division"

Winner for the “quadri division” (photo from the Le Infiorate website)

I captured this close up of the winner's work

I captured this close up of the winner’s work

Another close-up

Another close-up….can you believe these are flowers?

This was my favorite

This sea-inspired artwork was my favorite

Amazing 3D work

Amazing 3D work

Example of one of the work's flower species.  They take this very seriously.

Example of one of the carpet’s flower species. They take this very seriously.

Face molds made from flowers

Face molds made from flowers

I love her hair.

I love her hair.

Detail of her hair and sunset

Detail of her hair and sunset

I thought this "shading" was crazy cool.

I thought this “shading” was crazy cool!

One of the entries in the carpet category

One of the entries in the carpet category

Many artists showed their concept drawings along with the final result.

Many artists showed their concept drawings along with the final result.

Final result

Final result

Close up of technicolor Jesus

Close up of technicolor Jesus

Another example of work in the "carpet" division

Another example of work in the “carpet” division

Another tappeto

Another tappeto

Geometrically speaking, this one was the best

Geometrically speaking, this one was the best

Close up

Close up

Check out the crowd!

Check out the crowd!

Beginning of the procession

Beginning of the procession

These flags looked heavy and awkward, but they didn't drop them!

These flags looked heavy and awkward, but they didn’t drop them!

The destruction.......

The destruction…….

Comments

  1. Tonya Evans says:

    This is so amazing! I am so glad you finally got to see this and share it with all of us. I wish I could go to all the places you have shared with us! Dad and I have enjoyed every minute of your journey!

  2. Heather McGowan says:

    Absolutely amazing! I read your blog at least twice a week during lunch, it makes me feel closer to y’all and I learn SO much!!!