"I want to tell you about a feast that took place over the past few days in Genzano, a small village not far from Rome. It is called the Infiorata. Just imagine: all the streets are strewn and adorned with flowers – but don't think that the flowers are simply scattered around. Not at all! You wouldn't even guess they are flowers: imagine some sort of carpets depicting a variety of things, and these all made of petals: baskets, vases, patterns and even a portrait of the Pope – simply extraordinary." (Gogol' Nikolaj Vasil'evic)
The "Infiorata" is an event linked to the Christian celebration of Corpus Domini and dating back to the 13th century. The Genzano Infiorata takes place in June and the size of the tableaux are its distinctive feature. The displayed "flower tableaux" use as many as 500,000 individual flowers, buds and plant seeds. The tableaux are then assembled on a background of green leaves. The single flower petals are used in much the same way as a painter would deploy his colour palette: the yellow of broom, the light blue of torrena, the red of carnations and the green of bushes and wild fennel.
The climax of the Infiorata celebrations is reached when the Corpus Domini procession makes its way across the centre of the completed flower carpet. The "spallamento", when children run from the steps of Saint Mary's church and take the flower tableaux apart, is also very moving. Over the years, the Genzano Infiorata has changed from a local community event to an annual international celebration of art, culture and, most importantly, faith, attracting thousands of visitors from Italy and abroad.