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See what I just did there? Yeah, sorry about that.
It has flowers, it’s a festival – it’s a festival of flowers. What more do you need to know? Ah, ok. Probably a bit more than that. Well, Sicily Flower Festival isn’t actually just one festival – towns across the whole of the island hold these events during May and June. But the most famous? L’infiorata di Noto, which roughly translates to, well, bedecking the town of Noto with flowers. It is, in short, one of the country’s most beautiful sights to behold – so it’s little wonder tourists from afar as the UK travel here just to witness it.
Fanatic about flowers? It doesn’t really matter – there’s more to Sicily Flower Festival than petals.
Sicily Flower Festival: everything you need to know
Sicily Flower Festival: the basics
L’infiorata di Noto is held during the third weekend of May every year, during which artisans, both local and international, come to Noto on a Friday. They spend the day carpeting Via Nicolaci, one of its main streets, in flowers grown especially for the festival, and on Saturday and Sunday, their works are displayed. And boy are they pretty – mosaics made up of all manner of blooms litter the floor, sweetening the air with their scent. All sorts of pictures feature, from the surreal to the celeb-themed.
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Sicily Flower Festival: creation
Every year, there’s a different set theme that artists must work to when honing their creations. They’re given an allotted space (well, we all know what precious gardeners are like…), and then they’re all set to make Via Nicolaci, pictured left, even more pretty. A kaleidoscope of colour, the artists first make the outline of their works with an organic soil, before filling in the gaps with seeds, legumes and – of course – flowers. Walkways are then set up either side of the display, so you can get as close as possible (without walking off with souvenirs!).
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Sicily Flower Festival: destruction
It’s not just flowers at L’infiorata di Noto – there are performance artists, parades, and – on the Monday – an amazing display of “we don’t give a damn”. Yep, after the artists have spent hours crafting these beautiful works of art, kids are let loose to run through and kick them, and generally just do what little kids do best. You can’t help but feel a tug of “oh no!”, but it’s a theme that runs through many Italian festivals: the elders create, and the youth destroy, symbolising the necessity of renewal and progress. Plus, it’s pretty fun to see them giggling at their talent for destroying flowers.
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Sicily Flower Festival: Noto
Noto is a beautiful town at the best of times, possibly best known for its Baroque architecture – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. So, it’s more than likely that you’ll want to kick around once the kids have kicked the flowers to bits. Firstly, you’ll want to stop for a seat at the Cathedral of San Nicolò, left, the grand, sweeping staircase of which provides the perfect place to recline on a sunny May day, chilly granita in hand. Then, after a lunch of ravioli, orange salad, or swordfish (Sicily’s exceptional cuisine can’t be summated in a sentence!), accompanied by some of the finest wine on the island, you can tackle the three-dozen churches in town...
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Sicily Flower Festival: explore
With the city of Syracuse just over an hour away, it’d be a shame not to take a day trip. Birthplace of Archimedes, the famous Greek mathematician, it was touted by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all." Well, it’s obviously not Greek today – but the remnants of occupation are certainly there. There’s a theatre, temple and ancient quarries, as well as a Roman amphitheatre to explore. And when you come back home to your rental in Noto, you’ll still smell those flowers on the evening breeze.
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Main image, 2 and 3 by Malega
Image 1 by gnuckx
Image 4 by Stefano Mortellaro
Image 5 by Urban
Sicily Holiday Rentals
Nice and cozy, CASA DU SOLEIL is situated in a quiet village in the countryside on the outskirts of Acireale (Mangano in the country), just adjacent to the towns of Riposto and Giarre.
It is managed by the owner that the typical sense of warm Sici...
ON THE FIRST FLOOR APARTMENT IN THE CENTRE OF CATANIA, LIVING ROOMS 5
The price of:
€ 60,00/65,00 is for 2 people stay; € 410,00/440,00 week; € 1.600,00/1.700,00 month;
€ 68,00/73,00 for 3 people; € 466,00/ 500,00 week; € 1.850,00/1.990,00 mont...
The apartment is only a few yards from the famous Noto Cathedral, one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites and is located in an 18th century historical building called “Palazzo Astuto”.
Looking out on to Via Cavour from the balcony and only about 15...
The apartment is large (1614 SqFt, 150mq), it is situated in front of the beach, you can have breakfast sitting in the balcony and listening to the waves.
You have just to cross the street to reach the beach, the apartment is inside the town and y...
A wonderful villa, located at few minutes walk from the town center with an astonishing view on the Jonian sea. The villa has a big swimming pool surrounded by a wide terrace and overhanging a luxuriant terraced garden with fruit-trees and rare ...
Elegantly furnished, our apartments are always ready to welcome our guests in an elegant and family. All our four rooms have:Bathroom with shower or bath, toilet, sink and bidet; Hairdryer; TV; Air conditioning with individually controlled heat p...
Outside, large patio with a gazebo, swimming pool, solarium, garden and children's playground, barbecue area. Exterior: 900 m². Indoor facilities: air conditioning, refrigerator, freezer, stove, oven, iron and ironing board, microwave, hair dryer,...
Take a swim in your own private 18-meter Swimming Pool, while your smaller children have a bath in the separate children's pool. Enjoy sitting outdoors in the shadow of the arches surrounding the villa or on the sunny terrace offering exceptional ...
You will be surrounded by the magnificent 'Timpa' (natural reserve) and the amazing coast drawn with the lava of our volcano Etna in ancient times. The building has a large multi-level courtyard with view and easy access to the sea. The bedrooms o...
Collegiate is a delightful holiday house two rooms in one of the oldest buildings in Catania, palace 'La Piana'
Beautifully decorated, air-conditioned and consists of a large living room with sofa bed, a kitchenette and a bedroom with double bed, ...