The Flower Festival in Monte Isola

The Flower Festival in Monte Isola

Monte Isola is an isle located on Iseo Lake, in northern Italy. It includes very characteristic medieval villages that attract both national and international tourists.

The Flower Festival is a solemn celebration for Monte Isola, around the middle of September, every five years, Carzano and Novale, two villages, are decorated with a real flower cascade of paper flowers totally handmade… they are works of art!

The festival originated in 1836 to celebrate the end of a cholera epidemic and since then, every 5 years, the population is mobilized to create these flowers that with pine branches “invade” the streets with their bright colors.

Passed down from generation to generation for almost 200 years, exceptionally it has been broken only once in 1945 because of World War II. It was postponed to the following year and then it continues regularly since 1950.

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As we said, all flowers are handmade by local people who self-financed the preparation work;  Every family refines and improve techniques over time and transmit them to new generations.

This event is a unique experience: approximately 200,000 flowers cover the wooden arches that are prepared and edited during the period of about 45 days before the festival, entire families, together, participate to the preparation.

Originally the only flower of the festival was the rose; today there are all kinds of flowers, from orchids to clusters of wisteria. They are carefully mounted on the arches at the last moment to avoid that they can be damaged by any atmospheric precipitations.

In the evening everything becomes magical thanks to a myriad of small white lights that illuminate the arches and their artistic flowers, creating a fairytale atmosphere. These medieval villages, viewed from a distance and with water reflections of the Lake Iseo, seem a setting of the famous saga “The Lord of the Rings”.


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