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June 28, 2011 / TAB

Spello – Le Infiorate

Spello is known for its celebration of Corpus Domini each year with its Infiorate, intricate designs made of various flower parts. They are represented in “quadri” (portraits) or “tappiti” (carpets). There might also be the random leaving by an individual. The artists begin their work at 4 pm the night before and work through the night to be ready by 7 am. This culminates a week of celebration.

Bus loads of groups arrive and car parking is set up in grass fields around the city. At 9 am, the judging is finished and the crowds begin their shuffle along the course. The works are roped off and people are advised to watch their feet as they slowly creep by. If you are lucky, you will be on the shady side of the street and not have shadows in your photos (if you fortunate to get near the rope to take a photo). It is guaranteed that someone will step on your foot, elbow you in a soft body part, and throw a shadow or step in front of your carefully composed photo. There is NO expectation of any personal space. But you are part of an EVENT!

At 10:00, the is a Mass in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. At the end of mass, a solemn procession winds its way through the city with the bishop carrying the Corpus Domini and walking through the flower art followed by the faithful. I was lucky to get some shots on their way back to the church. The procession is much less grand than the one in Orvieto with no traditional medieval dress but the art work is amazing.

There is little opportunity to get a sense of the city behind the crowds but the rare glimpses into courtyards and side streets reveal a city ripe for a future visit.

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  1. ytaba36 / Jun 28 2011 2:41 pm

    Trish, this and some of your other posts, would be really good for the Italian Notebook. People would enjoy them, I’m sure!

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