The Genzano Infiorata, a living carpet of flowers

Infiorata di Genzano di Roma

This year, like almost every years since the 17th century, the main street in Genzano di Roma will be covered in petals for the traditional Infiorata.

On the feast of Corpus Christi, next June 12-15, the uphill street from Piazza IV Novembre to the Church of Santa Maria della Cima will turn into a colorful carpet of flowers.

The magnificent show has been the same since the time when the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was mesmerized by it.

How shall I describe the first glance into the street – that bright picture as I then saw it?, Andersen wondered in 1834, in his popular autobiographical novel, “The Improvisatore” (or “Life in Italy”), originally published the following year.

The entire, long, gently ascending street was covered over with flowers; the ground color was blue: it looked as if they had robbed all the gardens, all the fields, to collect flowers, enough of the same color to cover the street; over these lay in long stripes, green, composed of leaves, alternately with rose-color; at some distance from this was a similar stripe, and between this a layer of dark red flowers, so as to form, as it were, a broad border to the whole carpet. The middle of this represented stars and suns, which were formed by a close mass of yellow, round, and star-like flowers; more labor still had been spent upon the formation of names – here flower was laid upon flower, leaf upon leaf. The whole was a living flower-carpet, a mosaic floor, richer in pomp of coloring than anything which Pompeii can show. (H.C Andersen, “The Improvisatore”, Harper & Brothers, New York 1845).

Photos via: ©Marcus Hirn, ©Gianni Blumthaler, ©Irina Shestakova, ©Giustina,

June 11, 2015

The Genzano Infiorata, a living carpet of flowers