Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekend In Italy -— Part II

As promised here is a glimpse of our weekend in Italy...part II.

We woke up really early to drive the two hours from Rome to Spello, Italy  in order to see the Spello L'infiorata (Spello Flower Festival). The L'infiorata takes place annually on the Sunday after Corpus Domini and on this day, the narrow winding streets of Spello are decorated in intricate tapestries designed with a religious them, and all made with flower petals used to "paint" their creations onto the streets. The festival in Spello actually lasts a few days with the main focus taking place from 7pm Saturday when the teams begin to arrange their petals until 7am Sunday when the work is to be completed. Once their work has been completed, the streets of Spello fill with people admiring the colorful spectacle. I was amazed at just how many people Spello could hold at one time, as the streets were jam packed with people all wanting to get closer looks at the various flower designs. Some of the larger designs even set up raised platforms to allow folks to get a better photo of their work. 

Our friend warned us to get there as early as possible because of the crowds and apparently 8AM wasn't early enough. We had to fight our way through the crowd at times and work hard to try not to lose each other in the sea of people. But it was worth seeing the colorful designs that these people had obviously put so much time and effort into. Here are a few of the shots I took from our morning in Spello at the festival....

full view of one of the flower petal patterns

the holy family portrait made of flower petals

another design made of flower petals

crowd of people gathered to see the flower festival

Afterward we headed over to Assisi, Italy to see St. Francis Basilica. Our friend pulled the car over to the side of the road on our way there so that we could take some photos. :)

Jared and I in front of Assisi, Italy

Once we arrived in Assisi we went inside St. Francis Basilica and unfortunately cameras were forbidden so I was unable to get any shots from inside the church (which I was so disappointed about) but I did capture some photos from the outside....

St. Francis Basilica

view from the steps of the basilica

another view from the basilica

I really enjoyed the history of St. Francis. He was very much an animal lover and appreciated nature much like myself. Francis's attitude towards the natural world, while poetically expressed, was conventionally Christian. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man. He preached the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature.

There were statues and paintings of St. Francis all over the church grounds showing his love for animals and nature. Inside the cathedral there was a statue of St. Francis holding a basket and inside of it was a live dove. Long after his death animals still seem to be drawn to his spirit. Again, I was not allowed to take photos inside, but I really wish I could have captured how cute that dove was sitting inside the basket just looking out at us. I guess we weren't meant to share ALL of our memories. Some are to remain memories in our hearts and minds. 

Be sure to check back for Part III of our adventures in Italy........

No comments:

Post a Comment