Come with me to Noto, Sicily to celebrate one of the island’s most beautiful festivals–Infiorata! Infiorata means “decorated with flowers” and in Noto, they roll out the red carpets for this grand festival. These displays will consist of over four hundred thousand flowers!
The grand celebrations of Infiorata take up to a year of preparation in Noto, Sicily.
From choosing the perfect flowers based on their colors to laying out their design in coffee grounds or soil. This pictorial technique dates back to the 13th century. When the head florist of the Vatican, Benedetto Drei, created mosaics with flower petals to decorate the basilica. However, the custom faded away in Rome by the end of the 17th century, but the local’s admiration kept it alive.
Since 1980 Noto has participated in the celebration and every year a new theme is chosen to celebrate. Themes for the event are usually inspired by religion, mythology, art, or folklore. Pictured above is, “Sicilians in America” from 2019. The elaborate detail and design of these magnificent creations reflect the extraordinary depth of these artistic Italians.
In addition, this isn’t the only celebration happening. A series of events including concerts, craft exhibitions, and the Baroque Procession (Corteo Barocco), consisting of people in period costumes, flag-wavers, and musicians parade through the streets of the historical center of the town.
This year (2022) happens to be Noto’s 20th-anniversary celebrating Infiorata.
In addition, the theme will honor the eight World Heritage Sites for this year. Which include the following sites: Caltagirone, Catania, Militello Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli.
The event takes place every third weekend of May.
I’m looking forward to the natural aroma of these beautiful displays. As I embark on this exciting journey I plan on sharing as much insight upon my return back to Calabria. So stay tuned! I hope to have a video to share as well as some tips on traveling to Bella Noto, Sicily.
UPDATE: Our Personal Experience of Infiorata 2022 in Noto Sicily!
For our first trip to Sicily, the bar is set pretty high after attending this event. Not only is Noto absolutely beautiful, but the kindness of the locals really won us over. With thousands of people in town from all over Sicily, Luca and I felt like we fit right in. As promised, here are our recommendations when traveling to Noto and an updated gallery of the entire event:
I highly recommend this app when traveling in Europe. You’ll have more direct contact with the locals, better price points, and a ten percent discount for using the app. Some even prefer payment in cash after your stay is complete. So, no prepayment is required. And most have a free cancelation policy for up to 24 hours. If you want the best location and price for Noto, then this booking is my recommendation: https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/guest-house-aurispa.en-gb.html?aid=355028
Traveling by Ferry
Depending on where you are coming from will play a big part in traveling to Noto. We came from the ferry in Reggio Calabria to Messina, Sicily, and we loved it. It cost $42 euros there and back so $21 euros each way with our vehicle. The place to book the ferry is: https://carontetourist.it/en/caronte
If you are flying in you will want to come through Catania. Noto is about an hour south so you’ll want to rent a car or take the train.
For us, the trip wasn’t that pricey. With food, gas, the ferry, and our room it comes out to around $350 euros. That is without the shopping and other locations we stayed in Sicily, but this is just to give you an idea of how cost-effective something like this could be.
Infiorata itself was breathtaking
Walking on the blue carpet in between historic buildings admiring these natural artistic displays, and enduring the aromas from the petals– felt as if my heart was beating outside of my body. It was that beautiful! I hope to attend this event every year and visit Noto again soon. Until then, enjoy a few captures from our photo gallery of the event below:
For more information on attending Infiorata, you can book directly here: https://www.infioratadinoto.it/
Curious about other celebrations in Italy? Check out this post here: https://sacredearthlife.com/easter-traditions-in-italy/