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Below is information on a selection of the festivals that take place in and around Rome throughout the year.
Festa di Primavera: The Spring Festival incorporates a host of events in Rome during the end of March and the beginning of April. Free guided tours of churches, monuments and places of historical interest are organised. There is also a series of concerts at the Spanish steps. For information contact the Rome tourist board:
Natale di Roma: The Birth of Rome celebration, held on 21 April each year, marks the founding of Rome in 753 BC by Romolo, although archaeological finds have proven that prior to this date, a township already existed. Each year the event is marked by a series of ceremonies, beauty contests, la Dea di Roma, Roman feasts, traditional dancing, gladiator battles, as well as parades around the Coliseum and Forum.
IRISHFILMFESTA: This annual Irish film festival was created to promote Irish cinematography in Italy. The festival, which usually takes place in November, includes screenings of films in their original version (with subtitles) as well as presentations and discussions.
Sabaudia - Pasqua degli Sportivi: A Sportsman's Easter is an annual event taking place in the G.N Fiamme Gialle auditorium. It is a celebration of sportsmen and women who have stood out during the year and is attended by many athletes and coaches from the Province of Latina, as well as the Mayor of Sabaudia. The event concludes with a Mass, in honour of all sportsmen and women, at the S.S Annunziata church in Sabaudia, and an Easter blessing. For information contact the Latina tourist office:
Terracina Festa Marinara/ Festa della Madonna del Carmine: The Festival of the Sea takes place in July and occupies an important place in Terracina's folklore, linked to the town's long fishing history. A statue of the Virgin Mary "Madonna" is placed in a fishing boat, and accompanied out to sea by other boats, decked out with shells, flowers and lights. The procession sails from Terracina port to Circeo. On their return, fireworks are set off from the boats. There is also a fish and seafood festival, with exhibitions of folklore and fried fish stands.
Annual Festival of Parks, Nature and Fitness: This festival is a celebration of the varied beauty of Italian nature, highlighting what Italian parks have to offer and championing physical activity. Events can include tournaments, aerobics displays, city marathon, tastings of traditional produce and a youth cabaret and singing competition. The festival takes place in Piazza Cesare Battisti e Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Rieti. For information, contact the Rieti tourist board:
Festa del Sole: The Sun Festival began in 1969 and has today grown into one of the best-loved festivals in the area. The week-long event includes painting and photography exhibitions, shows and a literary prize all in honour of Rieti creativity and folklore. The festival is principally a celebration of the people of Rieti and their river, Il Velino, which is the stage of numerous events during the festival, including a death-defying race up stream against the current.
Sagra degli Antichi Sapori: The Festival of ancient flavours takes place in Villa Santo Stefano town, Frosinone province, in celebration of the Feast day of Madonna dello Spirito Santo. This festival showcases local traditional dishes and produce: minestra di pane e fagioli (bread and bean soup), local "red" bread and locally produced olives. There is also music and dancing in the main square. For information, contact the Frosinone tourist office:
This event is held on the feast day of Sant' Elena. One month prior to the festivities, a calf is blessed and then set free, before being sacrificed for the event and shared out amongst festival organisers. There is a Mass followed by a procession with a statue of the Holy cross, thought to protect the town. The town Mayor is present, as well as other important local figures. The procession is accompanied by ceremonial gunfire.
I Misteri di Santa Cristina, Bolsena: This festival in July is a reconstruction of the martyrdom of Saint Cristina, the patron Saint of Bolsena, who converted to Christianity in the 14th Century during the reign of Diocleziano. There are displays all over the town, showing the different stages of the Saint's martyrdom in one of the most impressive and spectacular cultural events of the year.
Processione di Santa Rosa, Viterbo: This event, celebrated annually on 3 September, is a celebration of the town's patron Saint, Saint Rose. There is a candlelit, five stage procession with 100 Facchini- senior members of the local parish - dressed in white robes and red sashes, carrying a 28m tall statue of Saint Rose through the town. The procession is in memory of the original transportation of the Saint's body in 1258. The procession travels for one kilometre and ends at the Santuario di Santa Rosa. For information, contact the Viterbo tourist office: