There are numerous events and festivals in the Roman Countryside. Between religious events, historical re-enactments and food festivals you can spend all summer amid fun and joy, immersed in tradition. Today we choose to talk about two of the most interesting events that take place each year in Genazzano, a medieval village in the Roman countryside: the Infiorata and the Palio di Brancaleone.

Genazzano’s floral tapestry

In early July, Genazzano, one of the most beautiful villages of the Roman countryside for its artistic and historical-cultural heritage, celebrates with the most colorful and beautiful flowers by creating a unique representation: the Infiorata.

Genazzano Floral Tapestry
Genazzano Floral Tapestry

Its origins are rooted in a distant past, it was 1883 when this celebration invaded the medieval alleys of the old town and filed it with flowers for the first time. Since then, this historical festival has been repeated annually and attracted the faithful as well as visitors from all over the world who have come to admire the authentic beauty of this locality. Its castle dominates the town and seems to protect the city, the Castle of the Colonna family, one of the many architectural attractions worthy of a visit.

The scenery is incredible, a cheerful party atmosphere and hundreds of people working together to create a colorful tapestry made of flowers and natural elements arranged in beautiful designs that crosses the whole town. The dedicated work of the townspeople who once again find themselves working together in synergy is, to say the least, admirable. The elaborate floral tapestries that they bring to life are real artistic and creative masterpieces.

The week before the Infiorata, the village is abuzz with excitement. The locals divide the workload by organizing themselves into numerous teams. First they go into the surrounding hills to collect the natural flowers, and then they take care of their subsequent selection and separation according to the color of the petals. This is followed by a conservation of the petals that traditionally takes place in the fresh tufa cellars.

The work culminates with the drawing of designs on the town’s cobblestone streets, which depict scenes of the sacred writings. If you are visiting this area when the preparations are underway, I strongly recommend stopping by to watch the laying of the flowers on the drawings that recreate colourful designs and biblical scenes. On the day of the festival you can watch the procession through town which is animated by actors depicting characters from the Bible.

Genazzano Floral Tapestry
Genazzano Floral Tapestry

The Infiorata, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is not only a manifestation of religion and faith but it is also an important moment of aggregation for the local community. However it is even an instrument to spread and enhance the knowledge of the territory, for cultural and tourism purposes, beyond the provincial confines.

The work culminates with the drawing of designs on the town’s cobblestone streets, which depict scenes of the sacred writings. If you are visiting this area when the preparations are underway, I strongly recommend stopping by to watch the laying of the flowers on the drawings that recreate colourful designs and biblical scenes. On the day of the festival you can watch the procession through town which is animated by actors depicting characters from the Bible.

The making of the floral tapestries is carried out by twenty-five groups of volunteers divided into seventeen neighborhoods, which work continuously throughout the night of Saturday until the early hours of Sunday morning, with a great spirit of collaboration by the townspeople and visitors as well.

Marked along its path by mysteries, crucifixes, promises, torches and sacred tapestries, the procession is accompanied by the pleasant notes of Genazzano’s local marching band; the parade begins at the church of San Paolo, makes its way to the Porta Romana and then returns to the place of departure.

If you visit Genazzano in occasion of the Infiorata, you will take home a memorable experience.

You can participate in the making of the Infiorata!

If you love traditions, there is no better occasion than Genazzano’s Inflorata to completely immerse yourself in local culture. Just go to Genazzano on the evening of Saturday before the festival and join one of the neighborhoods that prepares the floral tapestry. The warm hospitality of the locals will make you feel part of one of the most cherished events in the Roman countryside. If you are interested in participating, let us know and we’ll help you do it.

Genazzano Floral Tapestry
Genazzano Floral Tapestry

The Palio di Brancaleone

And if you are lovers of history then mark another date on your calendar: the last Sunday of May. It is in this period, in fact, that here in Genazzano an incredible manifestation takes place, I’m talking about the Palio di Brancaleone

Genazzano Palio Brancaleone
Genazzano Palio Brancaleone

This historical reenactment is an extremely interesting event that traces the days of the famous “Disfida di Barletta” that occurred in 1503, in homage to Giovanni de Carlonibus called Brancaleone who lived to the last of his days here in Genazzano.

The Palio is a celebration that takes place over three days during which the wine cellars remain open, inviting everyone to taste the d.o.c. wines of Genazzano and the delicious traditional dishes.

But it does not end here, in fact, the setting, the splendid handcrafted decorations, the archery tournaments and the parades through the streets of the village where actors are dressed for the occasion donning traditional costumes of the era, will make you feel like you have been catapulted into another dimension to meet the real protagonists of a historic event that deeply marked the fate of the city.

Genazzano Palio Brancaleone
Genazzano Palio Brancaleone

The procession reaches one of its most touching moments with the oath of the Knights inside the church which follows the assault on the Castle and culminates with the real battle enactment in the town square, Piazza Giuseppe Emilio D’Amico, where the Italians managed to defeat the French army.