The Festa de Noantri dates back to 1535 after fisherman hand crafted a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary during a storm at sea. Whilst the original sculpture still sits in Trastevere at the Church of Saint Agata, the festival open and closes with a parade featuring a nineteenth century replica. It has since become a celebration of Trastevere culture and all its history creating a particularly busy time of year, which since the 1920’s has included market stalls offering food and drink, theatre productions and live music. Although far more than a religious affair, local churches also hold mass in honour of the occasion.
The nearest airports to Rome are Ciampino and Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci International Airport), both of which are less than 45 minutes away. Getting to the Trastevere region itself will involve buses and a short walk. The festival is free to the public. It is however in the height of tourist season, so be mindful of the crowds. If you are planning to attend any church services, then ensure you dress appropriately as a mark of respect.
The best time to go is the first weekend when the procession of the statue is part of the main celebrations. The alternative is to check the time of its return on the last day of the festival. Check the official website for the processions route, you can always use this as your walking guide to the region. Stop off at one of the many Piazzas as this is where you are likely to find the outdoor entertainment. If it’s the religious aspect you’re after, then church mass will normally take place in the mornings.
Look for accommodation in the Trastevere region and search a wide selection of villas and apartments, houses, holiday homes and other private rentals. If you are looking to stay close to the festival or travel elsewhere within the city, it is easy to arrive on foot or use public transport. Check our accommodation in Rome.
In Rome you will also find Vatican City, which includes the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. The famous Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the ruins of the Roman Forum are also nearby. Take a walking tour to the impressive Trevi Fountain and the temple of Pantheon.
For more information, including: programme of events, the festivals history, the churches involved and the route of the processions, historical documents about the Festa de Noantri along with pictures and videos of previous years visit the official website.
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