Infiorata di Noto - Flower Power!
After a long period of relative silence there could be few events in South-East Sicily more appropriate for reviving the Via Ritiro N.7 diary. It's the third Sunday of May and this means that Noto is quite literally covered in flower petals for the Infiorata di Noto. This event, which is increasingly gaining in popularity, has taken place since 1980. It's a celebration of Spring and a chance for local artists to display their fantastic skills while using the most natural material possible. Flower petals, earth, and sometimes even beans or wood cuttings.
The entire town of Noto takes part in the design of these wonderful creations that have a maximum lifespan of 48 hours - since they are prepared between Friday and Saturday and showcased on Sunday. Even the local prisoners have a spot reserved for their own piece of flower petal art. The main showcase takes places in Via Nicolaci where for once a passeby is looking down to admire the flowers instead of up to admire the wonderful baroque balconies.
We arrived relatively early on Sunday morning - around 9am but the crowds were already beginning to gather. This first series of pictures is on the way up Via Nicolaci - I am sure you will recognise quite a few of the creations since they tend to be classic paintings reproduced in flowers.
We then went in Palazzo Nicolaci (some of the lucky last ones for the next four years as it is being closed for restoration tomorrow!- but that's a whole different story) and took some pictures from above.
Finally, in the little marketplace next to the Palazzo Nicolaci a little fountain full of flower petals acts as the appropriate background and a chance to advertise some of the local products from olive oil to wine and, of course, the ever-present almonds.
By the time we were done it was 12 am and the crowds were really building up. We escaped to a little cafe in Via Ducezio for an amazing pistachio ice-cream a pezzo duro on a thin biscuit.