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Assisi to Spello for the Infiorata May 2016

Assisi to Spello for the Infiorata May 2016

Feb 28th, 2016, 12:20 PM
  #1  
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Assisi to Spello for the Infiorata May 2016

We have made apartment rental reservations for Assisi for May 27 and May 28, leaving Sunday, May 29 to go by car to Siena. I belatedly realized that the Infiorate in Spello is on Sunday, May 29. Do you think it's crazy to go by car from Assisi to Spello in the early morning of May 29, then back to Assisi to get our luggage and go on to Siena? I guess we would leave Assisi by about 6:45 am on Sunday, May 29, and then head back to Assisi around 9 am after taking only an hour or so look around the town to see the Infiorate. (We will go to Spello earlier in our trip for a day trip, so I don't feel like we'll be cheated by not having a full day to check out the town fully on May 29.)
karensantamonica is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 01:38 PM
  #2  
 
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I would consider taking the train from Assisi to Spello (knowing that the train station is actually outside Assisi). Parking in Spello will likely be a big challenge even early in the day. The train station in Spello is about a 10 minute walk into town.
indyhiker is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 02:16 PM
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Even for an inforiata, I find it hard to believe most Italians will be rolling out of bed that early on a Sunday morning to snatch up all the parking spaces. Since you will already have been to Spello, you can scope out the likely places to find easy parking early in the morning.

I would simply pack up completely in Assisi, go to Spello, see the flowers, and then continue on to Siena. Are you concerned about your luggage? If all of it fits in your trunk, covered, then simply take anything like electronics (including a GPS) and your other personal valuables out of the car while you look at the floral displays.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 02:23 PM
  #4  
 
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The main public lot in Spello is small and anybody spending Saturday night in Spello (and those numbers will likely be be high; it's not just Italians who go to the event) will have likely snagged those spaces. I obviously could be wrong, but the risk of me being wrong is you driving around in circles when you could have just taken the train!
indyhiker is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 03:51 PM
  #5  
 
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I think you have an excellent plan and you wouldn't want to miss this event after being so close. A few years ago we drove from Montepulciano for Spello's Infiorata. We knew we wanted to get there early but only managed to arrive about 8 am. By then there was no chance of parking close and we followed the arriving crowds to any parking available. It was a ways out in the flatlands but perfectly walkable.
Its a spectacular display and early on completely undisturbed, enjoy.
macanimals is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 04:51 PM
  #6  
 
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The bus between Assisi and Spello is actually more convenient than the train because it arrives/departs from Assisi itself, not down on the plain. Need to check timetable.
dreamon is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 10:00 PM
  #7  
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I wish I'd realized it when we first started planning and we might have stayed in Spello instead of Assisi. For some reason, I thought it was in June, after we return home. Thanks for all of your suggestions, I have some options to consider. I would love to stop on our way to Siena, but I bet not all of our luggage will fit in the trunk, and I get sort of nervous about the possibility of theft.
karensantamonica is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 12:54 AM
  #8  
 
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Is your last in Assisi booking unrefundable? I would want some nights in Assisi so I could be there very early to see the artworks before the crowds arrive. But if you are going to all the trouble of waking up at the crack of dawn to get to the infuriate, and going back and forth to protect your luggage from theft, it might be much simpler to pack up the night before the inforiata and switch to a hotel in Spello for one night.

If you can't change your Assisi booking (or find a room in Spello), macanimals has pointed out that even at 8 am, there was parking within comfortable walking distance of Spello center -- and you'll be going an hour earlier. I woud not try to use buses on a Sunday, nor would I take a train, since you'll just end up walking anyway and be stuck with timing your visit to a train schedule. Nothing wrong with being very protective against theft, and if you find when you get to Italy that your luggage doesn't fit into the trunk of your rental car, then you'll want to follow your plan to go back for it rather than leave it exposed in the car.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 12:58 AM
  #9  
 
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Sorry for my typo -- I meant to write "Is your last night in Assisi booking unrefundable" I now notice that you rented an apartment in Assisi for the week. What is the cost per night? I might just eat the cost of the last night and go relocate to Spello or much nearer to it if the landlord can't lower the price if you leave a night early (would be understandable if they said no). Make up the cost along the way by economizing on something else, like one more meal in the apartment instead of a restaurant.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 01:50 AM
  #10  
 
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We visited Spello for the Infiorata about ten years ago. We drove, and I don't remember a particular problem with parking. However, I think it's got a lot more international publicity since then, and I wouldn't want to assure you that parking won't be a problem. In fact, I really think that there will be plenty of people there very early, as there were the year we were there.

Really, I encourage you to go also the night before to see the people working on their creations. It was even more interesting than seeing the finished work, in my opinion. If you stay very late, you'll even see some of the finished creations, and I would suggest going very early the next morning to see the finishing touches being applied.

We stayed at a hotel in Perugia. We remained in Spello until well after midnight, and were back there in the morning after only about six hours of sleep.

There were groups from all over Italy creating floral masterpieces, but there were also many local groups, including groups of local children making their own designs. There were people whose job was to separate petals into different shades of color and organize them in boxes or buckets; There were people whose only job was to deliver food and beverages to the workers; there were even people who played the guitar to entertain the workers.

If you can't go both in the evening and in the morning, I think I'd go in the evening. If that's not possible, I'd go very early when people will still be working on their masterpieces.

The work can't begin before 4 PM on Saturday, and has to end at 8 PM on Sunday, when the jury selection begins. At 11 AM, after the 10 AM mass, the procession through the town begins, and the floral creations get ruined. It was a little windy the day we were there, and some designs were getting a bit ruined as soon as they could be created. People were running around spritzing them with water to weigh them down.

Here is a page in Italian that has all the information and timetables.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjK-_JDQPLQ

I see that they've added a lot of events since we were there. It's obviously becoming more of a tourist attraction. They have meals based on flowers the evening before.

The date of the Infiorata depends on the date of Easter, which is early this year. Most years it would be in June. The Infiorata celerates the Feast of Corpus Domini, which is nine weeks after Easter.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 02:58 AM
  #11  
 
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The problem with taking the train or the bus is that you'll miss the best parts of the Infioratura, which is the actual work. The last train back to Assisi on Saturday night, if you go in the evening, is at 9 PM.

On the Sunday morning, the earliest you could get there by train is at 7:40. There are trains back to Assisi roughly every two hours, at 11:14 and at 13:09. If you just want to see the flowers, this would work, but it would be a shame not to be there at any time during the night or the early morning, to see the work in progress.

The buses wouldn't work at all. The schedule is designed for students, and there are no late afternoon or evening departures, and nothing at all on Sundays.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 10:36 AM
  #12  
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Yes, I looked at the bus and train schedules - the early morning options are limited. Too bad. I looked, too, at hotels in Spello. They are pretty much sold out. Oh well, I do want to be in Assisi in the AM at least one day to see the upper and lower church art with less crowds, so I guess we'll just remain in Assisi. Maybe we'll make it to Spello, maybe not. And maybe we'll go in the evening before - thanks for the suggestion, bvlenci, I wouldn't have known otherwise that that is an option.

We did see the Infiorata in Pienza in 2013 - we stumbled on it, what luck. It was so lovely, and there was such a spirit of community there.

Thank you for your very thoughtful replies!
karensantamonica is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 04:02 PM
  #13  
 
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Many towns in Italy have their own Infiorate, and the one in Spello isn't even the largest. Other famous ones are at Bolsena (on the lake of the same name) and in Genzano.
bvlenci is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 04:47 PM
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If it makes you feel any better, you otherwise have a really nice itinerary mapped out with or without the Infiorate! I hope you love Umbria as much as my husband and I did.
indyhiker is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 08:13 PM
  #15  
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Thanks for that reminder. I think it will be lovely either way, too. We are spoiled for choice.

Now I'll be looking into possible alternatives on the way to Siena. Maybe we'll swing by Pienza on our way to Siena and catch theirs again! I just wish we didn't have luggage. The only time we have left the car with luggage (in the trunk) on route elsewhere was for lunch on a quiet May weekday in Buonconvento. It was fine, but I was nervous the whole time.
karensantamonica is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 01:17 AM
  #16  
 
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Siena isn't far from Spello. If you would like to see the Infiorata but don't want to take the care there, you could ask your hotel in Assisi to hold your luggage, and catch that early train, which I mentioned above, to Spello. There are trains back to Assisi about every two hours on Sundays.

I myself would have no hesitation about leaving luggage in the car in this part of Italy. We do it all the time. When we go to our summer house, we even have lots of visible stuff in the car, which is usually rather packed to the gills. We always park the car somewhere and have lunch before facing the unpacking. Our summer house is less than an hour's drive east of Spello, in Le Marche.
bvlenci is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 03:55 AM
  #17  
 
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I also leave luggage in the car in Italy and don't think about it. As mentioned earlier, I do take my computer and purse, GPS, etc into restaurants as a matter of routine, because losing them is an entirely different order of grief, but I'm more philosophical about my el cheap travel wardrobe.

You say you don't think your luggage will fit into the boot of your rental car, but you also say that you are renting an apartment in Assisi. Doesn't it have a washing machine? If I during my travels in May in Italy I have a week near a washing machine, I pack with the idea I need fewer days worth of clothes. Can you cut your luggage burden in half?

One last idea: Does Spello or another train station nearby or on the way to Siena have any left luggage storage? You could stow the luggage the day before and then just carry your valuables and pajamas around while you look at the flowers, and then pick it up before you move on to Siena.
sandralist is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 03:58 AM
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(PS: I never lock my actual luggage, and I figure if a thief has the daring the break into my trunk in broad daylight, they probably also have the daring to open up my luggage while it is still in the trunk to see it if it contains valuables easy to snitch rather than taking the whole heavy suitcase. It is possible that many thieves have looked inside my luggage and been quite disappointed to find absolutely nothing worth having.)
sandralist is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 12:42 PM
  #19  
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Good to know you veterans aren't too concerned about concealed luggage in that part of Italy. I tend to be nervous about theft, not that I am generally suspicious. It's just that it would be a pain to have our stuff stolen during a trip, even if it's not particularly valuable. But that is a good incentive to pack lighter. I've gotten better, but I don't know about halving it. We were in Tuscany in May 2013 and in May 2014, and it was rainy and cold part of the time and a little warmer at the end of the month, so I am inclined to take a little range of clothing for both cool and warmer weather for this trip. I hope, too, that any thieves would look first at our stuff and decide not to bother! Non vale la pena as I have seen reviewers say about restaurants, so it would be with our stuff. So if we do leave our stuff in the trunk, we will leave it unlocked for sure. Clever.

I think I will post as a separate thread to ask if anyone has any suggestions for books about the history of Umbria as well as for guide books.
karensantamonica is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 01:00 PM
  #20  
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Hmm, maybe Fodor's moderator wouldn't be happy with a thread asking for guide book suggestions outside of Fodors!
karensantamonica is offline  

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