In the flowering backstreets of Assisi,….
……friends and neighbors of all ages gathered on a mid-June afternoon to chat over boxes of flower petals as busy hands swiftly de-petaled flowers of myriads of colors.
This was the afternoon of the Feast of Corpus Domini (60 days after Easter) and the locals were preparing Infiorate (literally, the flowerings, i.e. flower petal tapestries) for the afternoon procession through the backstreets near Assisi’s 12th-century Cathedral di San Rufino.
The consecrated Host would be carried by the priest from the Cathedral over the Infiorate in solemn procession. Caped members of various Assisi confraternities (rooted in the tradition of medieval brotherhoods) would accompany the priest as the local band played and all sang.
The procession would follow the floral tapestries to the altar prepared to receive the sacred Host. The procession would conclude at a simple altar in Assisi’s medieval backstreets. That altar was graced by a tablecloth in the Assisi cross stitch, the patient, stunning work of a local artisan living steps away from the site of the altar:
Just about an hour before the procession would depart from the Cathedral, the infioratori (those working on the Infiorate) worked with united concentration on the various floral creations in the Assisi backstreets:
The floral tapestries were sprayed with water to freshen up the flowers for the upcoming procession:
About 30 persons formed the group of infioratori recreating in flowers the painting of local art history professor, Professore Federico Della Bina.
His group’s floral petal carpet spread out in the alleyway just in front of the house where he was born (and still lives):
Hanging on the wall above the workers was a framed image of the art work, entitled by il Professore, “La Cura del Creato” (“Taking Care of Creation”).
Federico explained to me that the hands represent both the creation of and the caring for and protection of that which was created:
The pomegranate with multitudinous seeds symbolizes both abundance and fertility:
Last year, the Della Bina gruppo won first prize.
Who knows for this year? Winners have not yet been announced,
And the competition of floral creations has more than one category: not just the infiorate but also flowering doorways, windows, and balconies.
As I awaited the arrival of the procession, I noted tiles announcing past winners of the balconi fioriti (“flowering balconies” is the general term for floral adornments of homes) proudly displayed near windows and doorways:
Ah, what floral splendor enhances the splendor of the winding medieval backstreets of Assisi.
Not to miss.
See this video about the Assisi Infiorate preparation.
See this video about the procession of this Assisi floral festival.
Read here about Assisi’s Infiorate
Read here about the stupendous Infiorate of Spello