We were fortunate to be invited to join in this year’s L’infiorata di Spello, a religious festival held each year. At the heart of this festival are the locals, who are all involved in decorating the narrow streets with floral designs, mostly of a religious theme. The designs are made entirely from ground flowers.
Here's me at a lookout at the edge of town, which is surrounded by olive trees.
The crazy part of Infiorata is that the flower laying begins after dark (our group got started at midnight) and must be finished by 9am the next morning.
Here's our group's handywork. We finished this 27m long design at 4am. The green is fresh ground fennel fronds and the yellow is chopped up broom. All the flowers were collected from the surrounding hills by our team members. The centrepiece of our design (our token religious element) was a masterpiece in the making - this alone took about 2 hours! Of course the 10 or so critics were of no help!
Thousands of tourists descend on this tiny town to view the designs, and smell the pungent air which is incredibly fragrant. It's no surprise it's the best trading day of the year.
Not long after dawn, the designs are judged - there are various categories, including Under 14, Carpets etc.
A Mass is held the following morning in the main church, we missed this as we were sound asleep. This is followed by a procession through the streets (and over the beautiful floral carpets) where the Bishop ceremonially walks over and destroys the designs. Amen