The Macchina di Santa Rosa, Viterbo – 2018 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

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