Try Any Of These 6 Towns Near Rome To See An Italian Town “festa”

Simposio etrusco (Etruscan Symposium) ” Ladispoli. Here you are. You have seen Rome and have been able to admire the traces of its glorious past. What about going a little bit further back in time and seeing with your own eyes what were the habits and lifestyle of another major population that, having reached the peak of its civilization before Rome, actually gave a huge contribution to the development of Rome’s architecture, art and language? We are speaking of the Etruscans. The town of Ladispoli, which is of Etruscan origin, organizes every year, in August, an incredibly interesting event to recall its historical background. Everything is arranged in such a way as to represent people and situations as they would have been in Etruscan times: from the plays or ceremonies re-enacted to the dressing style and make-up of performers, from the accurate setting to all other details. You have to see it to believe it!

Giostra di Sant’Agapito (Tournament of Sant’Agapito) – Palestrina. The movie industry has shown us many reproductions of ancient tournaments. However, seeing one taking place right in front of you is an altogether different story. Every year, in the month of August, the town of Palestrina offers an excellent spectacle, which is definitely interesting to watch, because of the colourful medieval costumes of all the participants and the display of skill on the part of the competitors. The latter represent the 4 wards of the town and are required to enter various contests, testing their riding ability, archery skills and strength in the tug of war. They also play Florentine-style (ancient) football matches.

Palio delle Contrade (Palio of the Wards) – Canale Monterano. Everyone is familiar with the Palio of Siena, the famous horse race held twice a year. This is a slightly different version, since there are men who are actually running instead of horses and, rather than jockeys, they carry a vat on their shoulders. The race is divided in several heats and teams of 4 men each compete, in representation of the towns 6 wards. While this is the time of greatest tension and excitement on the part of both the participants and the spectators, the historical procession preceding the contest is truly beautiful to watch because of the colourful medieval costumes worn by the 200 men (knights) and women (ladies) parading together with flag wavers, drummers, musicians and other performers.

Festa dell’Assedio (Festivity of the Siege) – Bracciano. Just imagine a town divided in two parties, one in favour of a powerful local family and another supporting a war lord coming from another area to liberate the town. How will the two parties fight each other? By contests between period boats and horse races, of course. This is not sheer madness, but an event that takes place every year in Bracciano, at the end of August, in order to commemorate the towns successful resistance to Cesare Borgia, who had laid siege to Bracciano in the year 1501. Needless to add, the atmosphere is rendered even more congenial by the various dinners, concerts and other performances arranged for the occasion.

Sagra delle Fettuccine al Tartufo (Festival of the fettuccine with Truffle) – Civitella Cesi (Blera). When you speak of Italian food, particularly first dishes, your mind immediately runs to Pasta. Fine, but what type of Pasta? If you are anywhere near Rome (but also in many other parts of Italy), the answer can only be Fettuccine. This is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta that is most popular with ordinary customers as well as with the most sophisticated food connoisseurs. Obviously you don’t have to go all the way to Civitella Cesi to taste this delicacy, but there is more to this mid-August festival than just an excellent plate of pasta. For one thing, you will also find excellent local meat, savoured with extra-virgin olive oil from the same area. Then you will be able to choose from a vast array of delicacies that will make your mouth water. And, while you are at it, you shouldn’t miss the historical procession and the horse race, where horses run without jockeys.

Corteo Storico di Montefiascone (Historical Procession of Montefiascone) – Montefiascone. The town is known nowadays for the excellent quality of its wines, and this was discovered in the Middle Ages when the servant of a bishop advised his master that he had found in this town the best wine he had ever tasted. The bishop was so happy after trying some of the wine that, instead of continuing his trip to Rome, he stopped at Montefiascone, where he died 2 years later, possibly as a result of his lack of temperance! As a token of his appreciation of the local wine, he left all his possessions to the town, with the sole request that every year, on the anniversary of his death, a whole barrel of wine be poured on his grave. In order to re-enact the bishops arrival, the town organizes every year a procession in medieval costume, with numerous participants representing the bishop, the feudal authorities and all their retinue. At the conclusion of the parade, flag wavers display all their ability in flag handling and throwing, while musicians play tunes of particular historical significance.