Via Livia was the main axis of the olmate trident along which take place the primary central functions of the town, with excellent architecture such as the Town Hall, the Casino Maratti and Clementine Fountains, and also on which were held the major historical events – such as the artistic Flower Festival.
Since 1778 the road hosting the traditional and spectacular floral carpet in Genzano is considered one of the most important flower festival in Italy.
Via Livia is approximately 235 meters long with a vertical drop of 19 meters between the square outside the church of Santa Matia della Cima and the Fontana di San Sebastiano. This slope gives it a stage presence with a ‘glance’ that can take all the floral display as a whole.
On the day of Corpus Christi the road is completely covered by wonderful floral carpets that reproduce famous works of art using flower petals. Contemporary painters make true works of art, demonstrating a virtuosity that enchants and amazes.
The festival was celebrated for the first time by the Vatican in 1652 and was brought to Genzano during the pontificate of Alexander VII. Some studies attribute the invention of the festival to Bernini so much so that in 1998, to celebrate the fourth centenary of the artist’s birth, the town dedicated to his works the whole show.
The festival ends with the “spallamento” on Monday afternoon when dozens of children destroy the Flower Festival with a run down the street.