Ever wanted to take part in local life in Italy? You know, join in with the ancient traditions, give something back while enjoying something that you couldn't normally participate in? Something that has even entered the Guinness book of records?
Well now's your chance...
This coming Saturday night (the 5th July), the little town of Genazzano will be a hive of activity as young and old, locals and visitors, all work together to create masterpieces of art using the humble petal. This tapestry is made every year to celebrate the sacred heart, the week after corpus domini, and given the religious significance, the locals also don various biblical costumes for a solemn procession through the town. The infiorata, almost 2km in length, has even entered the Guinness Book of Records (in 2012) as the longest infiorata in the world.
Genazzano is a small town of around 6000 souls and is located on the top of a tuff spur 375m above sea level, about 45km south-east of Rome. This Saturday, around midnight, they plan to paint the town red, green, and indeed all the colours of the rainbow, using coloured flower petals, salt, and water. In collaboration with Rome-Countryside, tourists can now join in the fun.
The programme is as follows:
Check-in at accommodation.
Evening - each guest is assigned a neighbourhood group and begins their work preparing the infiorata
Guests can continue working until the tapestry is finished, or can go to sleep when they're tired
Lunch at a specially selected restaurant with traditional, local food
6:00pm - procession through Genazzano
Cost per person (2 nights accommodations, Sunday lunch): 80 euros
Cost per person (1 night accommodations, Sunday lunch): 59 euros
It's a great opportunity to join in with a local tradition, experience real Italian life, and get a glimpse of the countryside outside Rome. All-in-all, it sounds fantastic, and if I didn't already have a stag-do to go to on Saturday, I'd be there.
For more information, and to make a reservation, click through to the Rome-Countryside website.