Normally you rather think of Holland when talking about tulips or tulip celebrations. So as a traveler to Italy you might be astonished to hear that there is also a big tulip festival in the country many people know mainly for its excellent wine, pasta, pizza and other typical Italian foods.
Castiglione del Lago, Pg (Province of Perugia) is a picturesque little town, situated on a peninsula in the Trasimeno Lake, the “Umbrian Sea”. Since 1956 the inhabitants of Castiglione celebrate every year in spring time the “Festa del Tulipano”.
The whole town is decorated with tulip flowers and the locals compete among each other who creates the most beautiful decorations on windows and balconies and wins one of the prices awarded by the severe local jury.
During the five days of the tulip festival you can enjoy entertainment almost around the clock.
There are to be found street theaters, buskers, folk dance groups, brass bands, processions and games of the “Nobles” and the “Common people” in historical costumes, handed down to us in old Chronicles. On Sunday the festival culminates into a big procession with flower decorated carts, displaying allegorical as well as satirical motives. Each cart also represents one of the “rioni”, the quarters of the town, displaying the quarter´s colours. For these carts literally thousands of tulip flowers (usually the ones to short to be sold) are arranged painstakingly to artistic compositions.
Of course, as food plays an important role in Italy, there are lots of culinary treats as well.
Taverns are set up in the whole town, where visitors can taste typical dishes based on original Italian medieval and renaissance recipes.
The tulip festival is anchored firmly in the history of Castiglione, everybody is enthusiastic about it and it is really typical Italian. Yet one might like to know “Who invented it?”…
The answer to this question can be found doing some research in the internet. You might be astonished.
Anyway, if you love holidays in Italy looking for the authentic experience far from the centers of mass tourism, this is definitely an event you don’t want to miss.