Pitigliano, Part 2–The Infiorata


Once a year, and according to Wikipedia, the ninth Sunday after Easter, some towns celebrate Corpus Domini.  Again fromWikipedia, Corpus Christi emphasizes the joy of the Eucharist being the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Now that we have that bit of historical data, some towns celebrate, commemorate, and ready their streets for the procession of the Eucharist by decorating with floral designs.  Pitigliano is one of those places.  Yay for us being in the right place at the right time!

Arriving this morning about 10 am we found families, businesses, and assorted groups working on their designs.  Deadline was 5 p.m. for the procession.  As we walked the streets I couldn’t imagine the pieces being ready in time.  

Entire families, including young children, got into the act.  We saw boys of 8-9 years old hauling bags of floral bits and girls of the same age carefully filling in spaces by hand.  Experienced adults worked on details with teaspoons and brushes. Nonnos (grandfathers) barked orders and directions. Nonnas (grandmothers) watched from the sidelines and probably had lunch cooking on a back burner.  

 Coarse salt was used for white.  After spaces were completed they were sprayed with water. Hmmm. . .I wonder what happens to the salt when its sprayed with water?! 

Along the streets we managed to find a few shops open and popped in.  We had to narrowly squeeze by, and I was always looking to be sure I wasn’t going to step on a design or have my hat blow off onto one!

We chatted with a Hungarian-born artists who creates felted pieces.

Peering into this shop, I recognized the pieces of Mara Funghi whom I had read about in the Maremma Guide. This shop highlighted the works of a dozen of her students.

After a long, leisurely, slow lunch under a breezy tree by the castle wall,  we returned to the streets to monitor the progress.  Wow!

Here’s what this one looked like at 10 am, although I took the photo from the opposite end.

More finished or nearly finished pieces:

At 4 pm we decided we were pooped.  We’ve experienced processions with brass bands before, and even though this one would have been special, we were tired and knew our limits.  Our Hungarian artist friend told us that the procession takes about 30 minutes, then all flowers are swept up and thrown away.  Mamma Mia!

I, for one, would like to remember the Pitigliano Infiorata in its beauty and glory!

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