The Infiorata di Noto festival is a sure sign of springtime in Sicily and one of the most colourful festivals in the world! Over the third weekend in May, enjoy Noto’s unique flower designs and local artisans.
I’ve been to a number of Sicily’s festivals since I arrived in October, but Noto’s Infiorata festival will always stand out in my mind for it’s simplicity, art, and colour. The medieval city of Noto is one of the most beautiful towns in southeastern Sicily any time of year, but something about the Infiorata brought it to life.
For the entire weekend (around mid-May), the streets are filled with locals, tourists and artisans. There are historical re-enactments, parades and craft markets, but the main attraction is the public art project along Via Corrada Nicolaci. Local and foreign artists decorate the entire length of the street with kaleidoscopic designs made entirely of flower petals (and sometimes other natural elements like soil, rice, stones, sand, or shells). The tradition behind this isn’t too clear, but partly celebrates spring and is partly a homage to Noto’s virtuosic artistic heritage.
How they keep the flowers that fresh and colourful all weekend-long I’ll never know.
My Top Tips for Enjoying the Infiorata di Noto Festival:
- Attend on Friday night to speak to the artists and avoid the crowds
- Get gelato in the warmth of the afternoon sun from any of Noto’s bars along the main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele
- See the hand-crafted gifts and sample some of the delicious local cuisine at the artisan markets.
- If weather permits, take a pre- or post-festival jaunt to the sea at the Lido di Noto. Most of the beach bars won’t be open in May, but you’ll still be able to buy granita and brioche from the mildly annoying food truck that hangs out there
The Infiorata di Noto is a romantic day trip for any visit to larger attractions in south-eastern Sicily like Siracusa, Catania, or Ragusa.
Have you been to the Infiorata? What are your best tips? Do you have any restaurant suggestions? Please share below!