Spello’s Floral Passione Triumphs
La passione. It’s a recurring theme to life in Italy. As I often tell my tour guests while strolling the Umbrian hillltown gems, “If you don’t get la passione, you miss out on Italy.”
Take Spello’s flower petal tapestry festival, le Infiorate, for the feast of Corpus Domini, sixty days after Easter. Why else would teen-agers comb the hills behind Spello for weeks before, picking flowers? Why are the elderly on park benches for days before the festival snipping flowers off stems as they chat? What unites young adults, small children, and people old enough to be their grandparents in the medieval cellars of Spello for weeks before the festival, de-petaling flowers, grinding them, pulverizing them?
La passione for le Infiorate of every Spellano, no matter the age. I’m not sure if my favorite infiorate “moment” is while roaming the town days before, seeing the passionate preparation in the medieval cellars, in front of floral-bordered doorways, in the flowering medieval backstreets?
Or on the very day of the Infiorate in the midst of the awed crowds walking alongside the flower petal wonders, hoping to see all of the more than eighty masterpieces before the 11 a.m procession?
The yellow-caped confraternity members, the marching band, and the Carabinieri in the plumed hats of their dress uniform will precede the bishop who holds aloft the consecrated Host. All in the procession will carefully walk alongside the floral carpets, le Infiorate, but the bishop will walk right over the tapestries. After all, they are created as a welcome to Christ.
Months of work for a one-hour procession? Certamente! La passione lives on in Spello. La passione floreale.
Read about the origins of Le Infiorate
Read more on Spello floral passion
Read about the pre-Infiorate floral dinner
Read about Assisi’s floral passion
Read another note on Assisi’s infiorate
Read about Italian passione lived in the festivals
Read about the Infiorate created for Pope Francis’ visit to Assisi
Click here to read about – and see!- the splendid restoration of Spello’s medieval tower