Flower displays/infiorate for corpus domini

Corpus Domini, also known as Corpus Christi, is a Catholic feast day. It honors the Eucharist, and as such it does not commemorate a particular event in Jesus's life. It often occurs on a Sunday but in 2013 it falls on the 30th May (with many processions still taking place on the following Sunday).

Infiorata in Casamari

Why is this of interest? Well... many places in Lazio celebrate the days around this festival with infiorata, or flower displays (many have festivals on the 1-8th June this year). At some places, this is simply a pleasant art festival with designs composed of flower petals displayed in front of the main church. Certain towns however, take it to a whole new level. As you can imagine, civic pride can really get into its zone on this one. Lazio is blessed with two big contenders. Starting with perhaps the biggest of them all...

Bolsena

Infiorata in Bolsena
Many towns in Northern Lazio put on grand displays of infiorata, such as in Ronciglione or Capranica, but the most famous is Bolsena, site of a miracle in 1263. A Bohemian priest, in doubt about the doctrine of Transubstantiation, reported bleeding from the host he had consecrated at Mass. Blood fell from the host onto the altar cloth and marble altar (the Cathedral in Orvieto was eventually built to commemorate the miracle and house the Corporal of Bolsena). This Eucharistic miracle led the Pope of the time, Pope Urbano IV, to institute the feast of Corpus Domini every year on the second Sunday after Whit Sunday. So Bolsena was the site of the miracle that gives the Catholic world Corpus Domini. A carpet of flowers is laid on the procession route for a distance of about 3 km using petals of flowers from gardens and from surrounding fields. The infiorata should be around from the 2nd June. Bolsena itself is perched on the shores of Lago di Bolsena, approximately 36km (22 miles) north-west of Viterbo.



Infiorata in Genzano di Roma
Genzano di Roma


Genzano, in the Castelli Romani, approximately 30km south of Rome is also famous for its infiorata. The town has put on a real show since 1778, with a carpet of petals stretching almost the length of three football fields through the streets to the cathedral. Often, the petals are arranged to artistically recreate famous works of art. The infiorata here should be visible on the 16th-17th of June.
Infiorata in Valentano
Infiorata in Sutri

















The flower displays last a few days, but are best on the first day, so make sure you get there early. Most towns make a festival out of the whole thing, with a party atmosphere over the weekend with street food and a procession thrown in. It's a great way to get a glimpse into the local life of a town and to witness local culture in action,. Just remember about the campanilismo, the infiorata you're at is obviously the best one you've ever seen! ;-)



If you want to mix seeing infiorate with a sagra or food festival, here is my post on sagre and feste in Lazio in June.

Photo credits: 
Casamari infiorata from Paradoxplace.
Bolsena infiorata by Gobbler on wikipedia
Genzano infiorata from their website.
Valentano and Sutri from eventiesagre.it

3 comments:

  1. It is definitely well worth going to one of these if you are in the locality.

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  2. man, the genzano one is seriously amazing

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  3. Those flower displays are nice to look at. Thanks for the tour.

    ReplyDelete