Infiorata, a Holy Flower Festival|Patrizia Margherita|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2017.07.11
  • Infiorata, a Holy Flower Festival
Every year, at the end of June, the Catholic Church celebrates the solemnity of the Corpus Domini (literally God’s body) and the entire Italian peninsula dresses up with floral decorations which cover the streets and the squares of many cities and towns. The Corpus Domini is originally celebrated on Thursday after the celebration of the Holy Trinity but in Italy this holiday is moved to Sunday for convenience. One Sunday at the end of June, a religious procession takes place following this floral route where real works of art are made up entirely of petals and edible ornaments.
This celebration is called infiorata, from the Italian word fiore meaning indeed flower.

The Corpus Domini is a religious celebration

In Liguria, some villages turn into open-air museums during this time of the year. While in some towns the Infiorata is a simple design made with flower petals in front of the church’s main entrance or porch, in other places, where the tradition is more rooted, artists succeed in creating various panels that sequentially tell stories, traditions and legends related to the territory or to some local saints.

Some tapestries represent some religious icons

Among the various holy floral festivals in Liguria, the Brugnato’s Infiorata is one of the most famous ones and one of the most traditional festivals around. Brugnato is a small village in the province of La Spezia, located in the hinterland of the Cinque Terre and, given its small size, all inhabitants know each other and work together on this yearly project.
Here in Brugnato, the artists begin early in the morning the day of the festival to create floral tapestries along the streets of the historic town and visitors can admire the compositions starting from the early afternoon, while the procession from the cathedral to the main square takes place in the evening, at precisely six o’clock.
The floral masters start preparing for the Infiorata several days before the event, collecting and drying flowers, herbs and colorful plants.
Artists use a “mixed” technique which include flowers, seeds (such as barley, rice and oats) – that are colored with different techniques based on chromatic requirements of the picture – and coffee grounds which are used for the outline.

Petals, herbs and seeds are used for the compositions

This technique creates low and high-relief effects of great appeal and allows to have better details and to produce various shades that improve the final effect.

The Infiorata is a rite that has its roots in popular tradition, handed down for generations. It is a magical moment where sacredness, faith, art and nature meet pleasantly by drawing paintings with flowers in the streets. Visiting the event is a great way to discover ancient villages, learn about secular traditions and try some great local cuisine. During this event all the villagers get together and it’s nice to see the masters teaching the children the decorating techniques.

Adults teaching children the techniques

The Infiorata is the result of an articulated teamwork involving children, teenagers, adults and the elderly and each group has an established role. While the children paint the rice, the elderly prepare the flower petals, the teenagers organize the molds and the adults assemble the tapestries.
The organization of the event starts with the design of the sketches with great anticipation, following a rigorous iconographic research but also following the artist’s design.

Examples of beautiful floral artworks

Liguria is called the Riviera of Flowers and all the flowers come from local greenhouses who contribute to the event in order to gain some popularity as sponsors. The coffee grounds are collected by the villagers who go from café to café weeks prior to the event to get the residues that the baristas would otherwise throw away. These coffee grounds are then mixed with some water and dirt in a bucket in preparation of the festival so they become more compact.
Thanks to the use of coffee all the streets in town smell so good during the event!

‘U Burgu’ is Ligurian dialect for ‘the Village’


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • AgeMonkey( SARU )
  • GenderFemale
  • Jobtranslator, editor, teacher

Patrizia lives between the USA and Italy and has deep roots in both places.She has traveled extensively all over the world and she has also spent 4 months in Japan, where she fell in love with Sakura trees and Takoyaki.She’s has been collecting recipes from her international friends and she’s now compiling a cookbook. She works as a translator and in her free time she likes to dance, hike and play with her cat.

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