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The Macchina di Santa Rosa, Viterbo – September 3rd

Every year, the 700-year old procession of the Macchina of Santa Rosa attracts thousands. 30 metres high, a multi-storied tower is rebuilt yearly during July and August in honor of Viterbo’s patron saint S. Rosa. Over 1000 miracles have been ascribed to this girl born without a sternum bone who, notwithstanding, lived for 18 years. In a superhuman task it is lifted and carried by 100 men, called “Facchini di Santa Rosa” (porters of Saint Rose), through the very narrow streets and squares on the mile-long route when “it seems to glide over the rooftops, grazing buildings and balconies, pirouetting before thousands of spectators”.* The procession ends with a surprising run of the facchini to reach the hilltop site of the saint’s monastery. The procession is now included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

* Etruria, Travel History and Itineraries in Central Italy, Dr. Mary Jane Cryan, 2010

Festival dei Pugnaloni, Acquapendente – May

This 800-year-old festival involves groups of 15 to 20 people competing in the creation of large mosaics using leaves and flower petals, which are then displayed for the whole year.

Tuscia Operafestival, Viterbo and surroundings – July/August

Lovers of classical music have welcomed the cooperation of Tuscia Operafestival with the American International Lyric Academy and the Chinese Wuhan Philarmonic Orhestra, providing a rich, intensive programme of opera and synphonic concerts as well as different types of music, literary readings gathering renowned authors and journalists. Several different beautiful venues stage the recitals: Piazza San Lorenzo and Palazzo dei Prori in Viterbo, Castello Orsini and Duomo of San Nicola in Soriano nel Cimino, the Church of S. Maria in The Castle in Tarquinia and the Torre Monaldeschi in Civitella d’Agliano.

The ambition of creating a cultural bridge between Italy and the United States Italian American Opera Foundation has led to the first ever sister city agreement between the City of Dana Point in Orange County, California, and the City of Viterbo, where the Tuscia Operafestival has been successful since 2006.

Beethoven Sutri Festival, Sutri – July/August

The Roman Ampitheatre, the Cathedral and Villa Savorelli are  singular locations hosting the Beethoven Festival and the International Masterclass, where musicians of international repute and with a special devotion for Beethoven gather from all over the world to share their creativity.

Palio dei Borgia (formerly Palio del Saracino), Nepi – June

This is the historic reenactment of Pope Rodrigo Borgia’s entrusting his daughter Lucrezia to be Governess of the Duchy of Nepi in 1499. In early June, the Palio involves 300 people in medieval costumes who parade through the streets accompanied by rolling drums, blaring trumpets, amazing archers and flag-flyers to recreate her court pageant, with typical inn food to liven up the town.

Feast of Corpus Christi, Bolsena and Orvieto – June

This now worldly Catholic feast originates in Bolsena in 1263 when a host started to drip blood while being consecrated by a doubtful priest. The dark stains can still be seen on the altar placed at the catacombs entrance as witness to the miracle proclaimed by Pope Urban IV. Processions are organized every year through flower-carpeted streets.

  • Etruria, Travel History and Itineraries in Central Italy, Dr. Mary Jane Cryan, 2010

Italian cooking class at the Villa

A fantastic afternoon of cooking. We all had an amazing time and the cook got our family vote for the best meal we’ve had since arriving in Italy. The pork with grapes she left us was simply delicious!

 Lois, Steve, Ella, Joy and Theo (UK)