Bolsena Infiorata

Bolsena Infiorata



Corpus christi

Bolsena, a medieval village on the shore of a lake with the same name, on the day of the Corpus Christi becomes even more beautiful with the Infiorata.

Bolsena, castello

The infiorata is an exhibition of drawings made with flowers, seeds, leaves and peat along the streets of the town.

(Bolsena is also famous for the hydrangeas, there are plenty around town and there’s even a festival a couple of weeks before the infiorata, dedicated expressely to this flower) 

Unfortunately in 2020 and 2021 the event was canceled due to Covid, but now it’s back in full swing and in 2023 it’s due in June 11, day of the Corpus Christi.

I was in Bolsena during the Infiorata in 2019 and I took loads of pictures, that I obviously would like to share. 

Infiorata Bolsena

but first, a bit of history…

In 1263 AD in Bolsena during Mass a consecrated host started to bleed, as if it was flesh. This miracle was considered proof that the body of Christ is in fact in the Eucharist.

So the following year Pope Urban IV established the feast of Corpus Christi, that previously was only celebrated in Belgium.

From that date, during the Corpus Christi the Eucharist is exhibited and carried around the towns.

In Bolsena the procession is particularly important because with the Blessed Sacrament there’s also a “Sacred Stone” that is taken around, the stone where the blood dropped. 

Moreover, since 1995 the celebration got even bigger with the Infiorata.

Getting ready

Una signora separa i fiori che verranno usati per l'infiorata a Bolsena
bolsena infiorata
Works for the Infiorata start a few days before the Sunday on which the procession will take place.
Alcune signore preparano i petali di fiori per l'infiorata
Along the streets of Bolsena you can meet groups of women that separate petals from the flowers, the main material used in the Infiorata.
bolsena infiorata

The Infiorata and procession are held on a Sunday, but some groups start to draw on Saturday night, because it’s very hot during the day and it’s more difficult to work in the sun. 

bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
Creating the drawings is a team work, everybody is busy, from the youngest to the elderly. It’s a nice party of the town that involves everyone.
bolsena infiorata
infiorata bolsena
bolsena infiorata

On Sunday works start early in the morning  and continue without break.

bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
preparazione dei fiori per l'infiorata
bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
infiorata bolsena




infiorata bolsena
signore bagna i fiori infiorata bolsena
Flowers are kept wet throughout the day, so that they stay fresh and they don’t fly away.
infiorata bolsena

Here are two galleries of images (click on the arrows to see all the pictures) 

Many drawings represent religious images, but there’s more. 

The procession

At 4 pm starts the procession during which Eucharist and Sacred Stone are carried around the town of Bolsena, followed by representatives of the town, of the Church and of the communities. 

infiorata bolsena
bolsena infiorata
bolsena infiorata
The procession follows the drawings on the streets. Only the priest carrying the Sacred Stone can walk on the flowers, the others must walk on the side.
bolsena infiorata
infiorata bolsena al rione Castello

Once the procession is finished you can walk on the drawings. If you are strong enough. 

Personally I didn’t feel like ruining these works of art that took days to prepare, just an hour after they were finished.   

bolsena infiorata
santa caterina

Another gallery. I took so many pictures, and the drawings were all so special, it would a shame not to share them all. 

I was impressed by the quality of the drawings made with products found in nature 

and there are actually many people involved in the making of the Infiorata, with great care and attention

truly beautiful

It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!

Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

pictures, history and costumes 

The Carnival in Venice is one of of the most beautiful carnivals not only in Italy, but in the whole world.

I have been to Venice during the Carnival more than once and I have a few pictures and information about it that I would like to share with you.

You can see the whole program at the official website,  

costumes at carnival in venice

The fame of the carnival comes mainly from the beautiful masks and costumes that wander around the calli and campi during this time of the year. 

We usually link masks and costumes to carnival (and Halloween), a time of parties and change, we dress up to be somebody else for a few hours.  But in Venice it hasn’t always been this way… 

History of Carnival in Venice

history of carnival in venice

Carnival has very old origins, it probably derives from the Saturnali in Ancient Rome, a time at the end of the month of December when civil rules were temporarly suspended.

It was time of banquets and subversion of the social order: for a few days slaves were free and a princeps was elected and dressed with a mask and bright colors.

A few centuries later, when Venice was administered by the Serenissima Republic, wearing masks and costumes was popular and an ordinary affair.

history of venetian masks
venice carnival
history of carnival in venice
At the time masks were used to hide one’s identity during illegal meetings or activities.  For instance, the mask was used to go to casino or brothels.  Hidden under the tabarro (a mantel) were often carried arms. 
history of venetian carnival

For this reason in 1269 the use of masks and costumes was legally forbidden, allowed only during Carnival.

Bauta (the cocked hat with a mask that was open at the bottom and permitted to eat and talk) and tabarro could be worn at official parties and on national holidays.

In the meantime the Carnival (that lasted from Christmas to Mardi Gras) and Venetian masks became more and more important, and in 1436 was established the statute of mascherari, the artisans that create the masks.

Carnival continued to be a time of transgression, where you could do anything, with the anonymity given by the mask.


Venice Carnival
In 1776 married women were forced to wear bauta and tabarro to go to the theatre.
Venice carnival

In 1700, when Carnival was at its highest, new costumes became popular, those coming from the Commedia dell’arte theatre pieces, and they continue to be among the most popular: Pulcinella, Colombina, Arlecchino, Pantalone. 

history of venice carnival

From 1797, with the end of the Republic of Venice and the invasion of Napoleon first and the Austrian Empire later, the Carnival was suspended and prohibited. Masks could only be worn at private parties.

Carnival was organised again only recently, in 1979.

venice carnival mask

The carnival today

Nowadays curious and enthusiastic from all over the world come to Venice not only to see the beautiful costumes, but also to wear them.

It is possible to buy or rent a costume in the few ateliers that can still be found in Venice.

Around town you can see many stalls selling cheap masks, but true Venetian masks are made in papier-maché, not plastic, and cost from 30 euro up (they are artisanal works).

venetian masks
maschera veneziana
Some of the costumes you can see in Venice during the Carnival are traditional, with the white mask and the rich headgear.  Others are inspired by movie characters or exotic cultures. 
venetian mask
carnival in venice

Carnival is one of my favorite times to visit Venice; during about two weeks you can see costumes on gondolas, prizes are given to the best masks and all type of events are organized.

venice carnival photographer
And don’t forget the frittella, an equally important protagonist of the Carnival in Venice. 
venetian frittella
venetian costumes
venice carnival
venetian mask
masks in venice

Venice during the Carnival is particularly busy and sometimes it’s difficult to move around, but I think it deserves a visit at least once in a lifetime. 

venice carnival
It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!

A walk on the Hills of Arzignano

A walk on the Hills of Arzignano

A spring Walk in Arzignano

The Camminata per la Vita (Walk for life) in Restena, Arzignano, is?one of those walks that are organized around Italy all year round, but mainly in Spring, when it is not too cold nor too hot, and nature is blooming, the perfect conditions for this type of activities.

camminata per la vita restena
camminata per la vita restena

In 2020 and 2021 the walk was suspended due to CoronaVirus. In 2022 it’s finally back. It’s a walk among cherry blossoms, old unbalanced houses, amazing wild flowers and ancient villas up for sale.

camminata per la vita restena

Usually at these walks there are paths of different lengths; here in Restena you can choose to walk 4, 6, 12 or 17 kilometers. Along the way there are some “ristori“, refreshment areas, where you can eat and drink something.

camminata per la vita
un ristoro

I really enjoy these walks because they take you to discover your own region; for example, I had never been before on these hills at just 10 km from home. And the view from there was breathtaking. Plus, you get to walk with dogs that are so happy that they run like crazy and children that proudly walk their first 6 km on a row. The event was a true mood-enhancing. At the end of the 18 km I could actually barely walk, but I was very happy.

This event is particularly important because it is also organized to raise funds for the research on Cystic Fibrosis or Rare Illnesses (depending on the year, it changes).

camminata per la vita arzignano
At the end of the day this dog must have run 4 times the distance

These walks are a mix of nature, food and socializing; they are a great way to meet new and old friends, spend some time in the nature and discover the territory.

camminata per la vita
Landscape and a farmer working: there’s no Sundays for them.

One of the next walks of this type in the same area is in San Zeno.

Verona, the City of Love

Verona, the City of Love

Verona in Love

Verona is one of the most romantic cities in Italy.

It all started with William Shakespeare, that decided to set his famous Tragedy Romeo and Juliet in Verona.

Juliet’s balcony is one of the most visited sites in Verona, and you can also visit Juliet’s tomb and Romeo’s house.

That is why on days around Valentine’s Day the city organizes a mini festival with various events.

love market in verona

This year, 2022, the festival takes place from the 11th to the 14th of February.

The town is all dressed up with love decorations, the most interesting probably being the big heart in Piazza dei Signori (also known as Piazza Dante), that can best be seen from the Lamberti Tower.

verona in love

During the festival there are live talks about love, restaurants offer a dish with the love theme, there’s a Half Marathon, there are events at bookshops, there’s a street market, all in love theme of course.

A new entry for the year 2022 is a National Competition for the best love song by young song-writers.

ponte pietra in verona

Verona is a beautiful town all year round, but these days it gets even more romantic and loved.

A walk on the hills of San Zeno

A walk on the hills of San Zeno

Every year the community of San Zeno in Arzignano, where I live, organizes a walk on the hills around the town, on Liberation Day, April 25th.

On the hills of San Zeno
On the hills of San Zeno

The walk is part of a “sagra”, a music and food festival that takes place every year at the end of April; the sagra is spread in two weekends and it’s very well organized, considering San Zeno is a very small village. Every day there’s something different in the menu: porchetta (roasted pork), risotto, paella, fried fish, etc. There’s a photography exhibition and contest (in 2018 I won the third prize 🙂 ), a vintage motorbikes show, a music festival for teenagers (I get emotional at hearing these youngster singing with so much passion and talent).

The walk takes place on April 25 (in 2020 it has been postponed due to CoronaVirus). I love walking in the nature and seeing the old houses in the countryside. Plus, it’s an occasion to meet new and old friends, your neighbors that you don’t have the chance to meet often. And there’s always some food. At half walk we could eat loads of “panini” with home-made salami, cheese and peppers. A pleasure for the palate and the soul.

The first part of the walk is a bit hard, because you have to hike up the hill, then it’s a bit of walking at the same level, to Contr? Moschini, and then down to San Zeno.?

Below is a short video I made of the walk in San Zeno, hope you’ll enjoy it.

Georgia Diary

Georgia Diary

backpacking in


photos and stories

the trip

In June 2017 Luca and I went backpacking in Georgia.

It was a guy I met in Gjrokaster, Albania, who made me want to visit Georgia and Armenia. He said that these were his favorite countries (he visited plenty), but he decided to open and manage a hostel in Albania because he thought it had much potential. And I believe he was right.

Anyway, one year after Albania I was in Georgia.


Tbilisi, the capital, was the first stop. I was immediately fascinated by the elegant decadence of the Old Town.

We stayed in Tbilisi for a few days, I didn’t want to leave. The town is charming, food is delicious and guesthouse very welcoming.

The guesthouse!

Some pictures of the guesthouse, Skadaveli, that from outside seems to be falling down, but inside it’s all renovated and very warm and welcoming. In the historic centre of Tbilisi. So welcoming that I want to go back and just stay there for one month.

Breakfast was not included, but there was a small shop not far from the house selling fresh bread, cheese, tomatoes and eggs. The best breakfast.

There’s an antiques market in Tbilisi with many russian and Orthodox relics that I really liked. Sort of an open-air museum.


For a couple of days we walked around the Old Town, the markets, the castle, the Baths…


Davit Gareja

Public transport is quite efficient in Georgia, and moving from one part of the country to the other is pretty easy. But not to Davit Gareja, a monastery in a semi-deserted area at about 2 hours drive from Tbilisi, near the border with Azerbaijan.

To go there we took a tourist minibus leaving at 11am from the center of the town. You get there that it’s very hot, you can visit the monastery and in a couple of hours you can walk around the hill where you can see some caves with frescoes that are part of another monastery.

All very interesting. And amazing panorama.


Oasi Club

Going back from Davit Gareja we stopped in a hostel-campsite for lunch/coffee/snacks. An amazing place, seems out of the world, with grazing pigs, horses, hammocks, good food, a lot of books. A place to go back to and stay for a few days, even though sleeping and eating there is slightly more expensive than in the city.

Other than Davit Gareja, we did another day trip while staying in Tbilisi.


The spiritual capital of Georgia, Mtskheta isn’t very far from Tbilisi and can be reached by Marshrutky, the public buses of Georgia.

One early morning we left to go to Armenia, about which I will write in another post…

Below continues the trip in Georgia.

Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia

We went back to Tbilisi on a minibus from Armenia. After a short wait we got on another bus to Akhaltsikhe.

Along the road we passed through Borjomi, a quiet resort with thermal waters, surrounded by nature. Having more time, it would have been nice to stop there for a bit.

While backpacking it’s nice to stop in a quiet place to rest from time to time.

In Akhaltsikhe there’s a castle that has been recently refurbished, pretty but seems fake, but the town is famous for Vardzia, a caves village. Born as a monastery, Vardzia grew into a small town that could host up to 2,000 monks. A very special place, a Unesco Heritage Site.

Unfortunately with public transport you are not free to travel at the time you want, I would have liked to be there for sunset, but we had to take the bus back to Akhaltsikhe (I am traveling on a budget, I can’t afford a taxi for 60 km).

Akhaltsikhe town

Pretty and comfortable. Guesthouse brand new, very clean and very welcoming.

I must say that guesthouses in Georgia are very good.


Vardzia. Hot hot hot. It’s recommended to bring a lot of water from the town, as there are no villages near Vardzia, just a small restaurant with a nice terrace, but to visit the site you need a couple of hours and there’s no water on the hill.

The North

After Vardzia e Akhaltsikhe we went North.

We hadn’t booked any place for the night because we weren’t sure where we would stop.

The fist minibus took us to Kutaisi. I was thinking of stopping there, but it was very hot and the city seemed so big, I thought it would be difficult to find a place to stay.

So we took another bus to Zugdidi. We were also thinking of Batumi, a holiday resort by the Black Sea, but we didn’t have the time during this trip. We preferred to focus on other parts of Georgia.

Zugdidi seemed a bit anonymous. The interesting side of this town is that it’s near the border with Abkhazia, and in the last decades Zugdidi has hosted many refugees from this part of the world.

There’s a nice museum/palace with a beautiful park.

For many it’s the departure point for Mestia and the Svaneti mountains.

This is just a small preview of Svaneti, because I want to write a whole post about the trekking here. It was the best part of our trip in Georgia.

Mestia, Ushguli e Svaneti

Svaneti belongs to the Caucasus and it is the highest inhabited area in Europe.

From Mestia we hiked for three days up to Ushguli, three days in the nature, among fields in bloom, glaciers and old villages with the traditional medieval towers.

I didn’t really want to leave the little paradise that is Svaneti, but the trip must go on.

There was a minivan going directly to Tbilisi, fortunately, but the journey was quite long anyway, we arrived in Tbilisi at 7pm.

The Skadaveli guesthouse was fully booked, so we decided to rent a room in the new part of the town.

Very nice there too.

Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue is a walking street completely renovated, with pretty pastel houses, small restaurants and many clubs. Very touristic, but pretty nonetheless.

Tbilisi New Town


The following day we left for Kazbegi, about three hours away, on a marhrutky.

Kazbegi is in the mountains (near the border with Russia), famous for a church on a hill overlooking the town.

Tsminda Sameba Church (not easy at all Georgian names) can be reached on a easy hike, the path is steep but short.

Unfortunately we couldn’t stop for too long here neither, there are some nice hiking trails to be tested.

The following day we left.

Marshrutky to Tbilisi (basically you need to go back to Tbilisi almost any time you move from one part to the other of Georgia) then another to Sighnaghi.



Kakheti is the main region for the production of wine in Georgia.

We stayed a couple of nights in Sighnaghi, a pretty little town, and we stayed in a guesthouse overlooking the valley.

On the way to Telavi

From Sighnaghi we took part to a tour organized by our guesthouse to take us to Telavi. We took advantage of this tour, so that on the way to Telavi we could stop at a monastery, at the house-museum of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, at a winery with a museum and the qvevri, large terracotta pots buried in the ground, the way wine is traditionally made in Georgia.


Telavi is a bit too modern maybe, with some picturesque corner, very welcoming indeed.

Once we put foot out of the guesthouse to visit the town, we met a guy on a bench who invited to his house to drink Georgian wine and eat some snacks (probably I don’t have big memories of Telavi because we spent most of our time with our new friend).

At dinner we decided to eat at the guesthouse. The host cooked so much for us! And everything was delicious, another proof of the quality of Georgian cuisine.

Last days in Tbilisi

And here we are, at the end of the trip. Last couple of days in Tbilisi before we go back to Italy.

We walked around the old town again, always charming, we also went back to the new town to take some pictures in the night, and one early morning we flew back home.


Short recap of the delicious dishes of Georgia.

It’s Going to be Awesome!

Come with me!