Monday, May 16, 2011


No one knows quite why some Italian towns began to celebrate the festival of Corpus Christi or Corpus Domini by creating carpets of flowers in their streets during the eighteenth century but my theory is that people were simply using what was on hand and free to create beauty in honour of the Lord.

The nearby city of Noto [Province of Siracusa] has been holding its 32nd infiorata over this weekend and I am ashamed to say that in the previous five years, something had always gone wrong to prevent my going there.  This year, however, I was determined to make it and set off with friends on Saturday afternoon. When we reached Noto there was a happy, party atmosphere and people walked in a well-ordered line along either side of the 122 x 4 metre flower-petal carpet, set out under Baroque balconies in the city's via Nicolaci.

This year's theme is "The Great Masters of Twentieth Century Italy" and, with no further ado, I'll let you enjoy the photographs.  [You will appreciate that I had to take some of these from awkward angles, as it is impossible to take shots from the centre of the street.  I did my best!]

"The Language of Italian Art"

" 'Strattu in Sicily"

"The Language of Love"

"Woman in White"

"Hector and Andromache at the Gates of Troy"

"Homage to Achille Funi"

"Hector and Andromache" 

"Homage to Modigliani"

"Liberty and Communication in Italy"

"Rita Levi-Montalcini: a Life Devoted to Science"

Part of "Homage to Giorgio de Chirico"

"The Twentieth Century:  Past, Present, Future!"


"The Hardness of My Heart"

"He is Crucified"

Looking down via Nicolaci

The honey-coloured Cathedral looked lovelier than ever in the evening sunlight and we went inside to admire the magnificent new frescoes by Russian artist Oleg Supereko. [The cupola had collapsed in 1996.]

No outing to Noto is complete without a visit to the Caffè Sicilia to partake of one of their superb ice creams and who were we to break with tradition?

First we ordered this amazing cake, containing layers of sponge so light I swear it was floating, pink grapefruit and candied red pepper.  Yes, that's right - candied red pepper.  You are just thinking how deliciously refreshing the grapefruit is when all of a sudden you get this after-taste of something just a little spicy and all I can say is that it was heavenly.  If you don't believe me, you'll just have to go there and try some for yourselves - everyone should, at least once!

Then we ordered cedro [citron fruit] ice cream and another flavoured with almonds and saffron. These were the most zingy ice creams I think I've tasted, even in Sicily.  And yes, that's an enormous cannolo you see in the background for, as my friend explained, you simply cannot visit the Caffè Sicilia without biting into a cannolo!

On my next visit to Noto I'm going back to try the bread and marmalade ice cream!


Patricia said...

What a lovely tradition. I had the pleasure of visiting Noto with my cousins in 2007 and enjoyed the Cafe Sicilia. You are so fortunate to have this on your doorstep. Thank you for sharing.

Whispering Walls said...

How beautiful!

James Higham said...

it is impossible to take shots from the centre of the street

I can imagine you trying though.

Honey coloured


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hello Pat .. absolutely amazing display , what a feat it must be to get all the displays down the centre of the street.. I wouldn't be ashamed, we all have events that take place near us and we cannot make them .. at least you have this year , and rounded it off with tasty treats in a caffe .. who could not?? :-) :-) Fab photos .. xox

Rosaria Williams said...

Unbeatably the most beautiful set of pictures I've seen lately all in one place, all in amateur mode too. Fantastic! How generous of you to share them all with us. Now, your stopping for dessert and ...that's another habit we are all envious about.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Patricia. Great to hear that you've been there. Yes, I am very lucky. It is, WW. Yes, nearly fell over in the attempt, James! Hi, Anne. It ia an amazing feat - you are right. One day I would like to watch them preparing it. That reminds me of how few events I attended when I lived in London! I suppose we think, "There's always next year". Glad you like the photos. You are very kind, Rosaria - thank you. Maybe one day we'll share a Sicilian dessert.

Liz Hinds said...

Those flower carpets are amazing. I can't remember where we were when we saw something similar. So much artistry - and effort.

Trubes said...

Fabulous photography Welshcakes, the artistry involved in creating the pictures is amazing, What a wonderful place to live. I liked the clip about the Cathedral, I love looking around old churches. Whenever, or wherever I go, I seek out the local church, mosque etc to pay hommage to their particular creed.
I loved the last bit with the cake, after reading your description, I wanted to lick the screen!
Hope you and Simi are well, oh and btw, I've just started blogging again after a year's break. so look out for some more 'musing from the chair'!


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Liz. Yes, it's an incredible feat. Hi, Trubes. I'm glad you like it all. It's always good to hear from you and I'm so glad you are blogging again. We are well, thank you. Lots of love to all of you. xxxx woof!


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