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Festivals of Latium (Lazio)

Latium fairs, festivals, folklore, sagre, feste and events in Lazio:
a Latium festival calendar


Some Lazio festivals are said to have antique origins, dating back, for example, to the Saturnalia, the Roman festival in honour of Saturn, to September harvest festivals and to May festivals, much the same as the famous Calendimaggio of Assisi.

The festivals and fairs of Lazio are usually accompanied by a dance known as the saltarello, ancient in origin (it was already popular among the Latins), performed to the accompaniment of percussion and string instruments. Although traditionally defined as a courtship dance, it may be performed in a group. The central couple need not be a man and woman.

Lazio's most important and well-known event is the transport of the Macchina di Santa Rosa - a tower thirty metres in height weighing five tons, borne along a long, narrow path on the shoulders of about one hundred strong "bearers." The structure is ornately lit and followed by a majestic torchlight procession. The event's central moment comes when the Macchina, after making five stops, has to complete a steep, approximately 300-metre climb, at a run, up to the Saint's Sanctuary.

The devotion of the population of the town of Rieti to St. Anthony has been celebrated since 1232, with his canonisation marked by a procession over flower-strewn streets. These Infiorata festivals are characteristic of many towns in Lazio, including Genzano, Genazzano, Gerano, Poggio Mirteto and Bolsena. Usually for the Feast of Corpus Domini, some streets in these towns are covered with compositions made from flower petals, over which the processions pass. One of these is the Festa dei Pugnaloni, the dagger festival, where large pictures are made with artistic floral designs.



Velletri: Festival of St Anthony Historic Parade and Jousting Tournament (January)

Alatri: Sacred re-enactment of the Passion Play (April)

Acquapendente: "I Pugnaloni" Historic Pageant (May)

Tarquinia: Historic Parade and Jousting Tournament (May)

Sant'Oreste: Festival of the Madonna (May)

Genzano: Flower carpet Pageant (June)

Bolsena: Flower carpets Pageant (June)

Rieti: Palio Horse Race (July)

Castel Madama: Historic Pageant and Horse Race (July)

Rome: Festa de' Noantri (July)

Sermoneta: Historical Re-enactment of the Battle of Lepanto (October)

Greccio: Re-enactment of St Francis building the first Nativity Scene (Christmas Eve)


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