02 June 2013

Brugnato in Fiore

Each year, the small Ligurian town of Brugnato [pronounced 'broon-yato'], transforms its streets into floral fan-fare. Many towns and villages across Italy will have such festivals and if you get the chance to see one, it is truly remarkable.

The residents of Brugnato were working like busy bees to transform their alleys and streets into tappetti di fiori, or carpets of flowers.

We arrived from the back of the town, where we were left off by the super convenient parking shuttle (well done Commune di Brugnato!). So we started our stroll from the 'Riva d'Armi' (the name of the street).

 This lovely and delicate design took as along the picturesque streets of town.

Lovely flowers, beautiful town...

Coming around the bend, we discovered people were still working on some of the larger designs. This meant I got to see the artists in action and learn how they made such amazing creations!

Ok, so a huge paper design with all the lines drawn out as a guide...

Carefully tracing the lines over with a cone of black sand (NOBODY SNEEZE!)...

And intricately filling in the spaces with the appropriate color of petals. Amazing.

From here we walked through a portico to the main square in town and we were wowed by more flower tappetti!

Being a religious celebration, many of the images represent the church, but mainly the papacy. And just like all state-run offices that proudly display a picture of their smiling president, this festival couldn't have been complete without a few versions of the new beloved Pope Francesco I.

Again, we came upon another design that was still in progress...

But they didn't have any paper guides, and there was a huge wooden stencil! Now I was even more intrigued. We wound up walking around the town a number of times, and each time we passed this design, a bit more was finished. So here are the shots I took, with the finished product after about an hour.

 So they're basically doing this one free-hand!

Notice the shadowing on the red writing! That wasn't there before.

And done! Bravissimi!!!

But what about the long, perfectly geometric 'carpets'? How did they do that?
 Here's the secret:

 Cool, huh?

But none of these beauties could have prepared me for the real 'carpet', which lined the entrance road into town.

Since we came from the back, this was like the grand finale and I'm so glad.

Look at that!!! It's so beautiful--but is it really all flowers? How long did that take? What does it look like up close?

Flower stems, flower pods...

 Flower petals, colored gravel/salt crystals...

Leaves, colored wood chips and colored saw dust...
All combined to create a gorgeous festival in fiore.

Infiorata del Corpus Domini
Brugnato, Italy
First Sunday of June


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