“Festa de’ Noantri”: a truly local celebration in Trastevere, Rome

madonna statue on the river in rome festa de noantri
Photo credits: © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC BY-SA 3.0

“Festa de’ Noantri” is a Roman slang way of saying “the festival of our people”. “Our people” refers to the people of Trastevere, as opposed to “the other people”, which means the Romans who live anywhere else in the city.

As you understand, we are talking about a truly local celebration!

This is a celebration in honor of the Virgin of Mount Carmel, which takes place in the Trastevere neighborhood.

The celebration of the Festa de’ Noantri started in 1535. The tradition says that after a terrible storm, some fishermen found a statue of the Virgin made of cedar wood, right down the river’s mouth.

That is why this Madonna is called “Madonna Fiumarola”, the “River’s Madonna”. This statue was brought to Trastevere and since then she became the saint protector of the Trastevere people.

Today this statue is usually kept in the church of Sant’Agata, in Trastevere. It leaves the church only once a year, on occasion of this celebration.

Celebrations take place for about a week, this year from July 22nd until July 31st. The celebration consists of liturgical ceremonies, concerts, a race, and a procession in the river on July 30th.

On July 30th at 7:30PM the cedar statue of the Madonna will be boarded on a boat and travel to Trastevere through the Tiber river. Then it will land on the shore (by Ponte Garibaldi) and continue the procession until the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Full program here: https://www.festadenoantri.it/index.php/programma

Looking for more things to do in July and August? Have a look at these:

Written by Federica

Creative director of Live Virtual Guide. Her favorite things are gelato, pizza and the hidden gems of Rome.

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