HomeAway travel expert
To many, Lazio is a football team. Which it is, of course - but it is also the third most populated region of Italy, situated about halfway up the boot the country’s outline so closely resembles. It’s no surprise then, given its central location in one of the world's most historically rich countries, that Lazio hosts a packed itinerary of events, exhibits and festivals throughout the year. Music, art, sport, film, nature and, of course, religion are all celebrated: there’s an event to suit everyone. After enjoying your celebration of choice, explore the charming winding streets and wide-open piazzas of this most historical of regions.
Aside from boasting a diverse range of cultural events, Lazio’s lure for tourists centres on a landscape rich with ancient treasures. Visitors are especially keen to pore over the artefacts of the old Roman Republic and take in the crumbling beauty of its spas and arenas. Whatever you’re there for, you can book first-rate Lazio accommodation with HomeAway. We have a trove of villas, apartments and cottages from Frosinone to Rome, giving you the chance to experience home comforts while exploring a foreign terrain. Read on for our shortlist of Lazio’s best events.
Top 5 events in Lazio
The Festival of the Sea (Festa della Madonna del Carmine)
The grandly named Festival of the Sea gets under way each July, in the coastal town of Terracina. Occupying a vital role in the town’s folklore, it is both a celebration of the Virgin Mary and a ceremony toasting Terracina’s lengthy fishing past. A procession of fishing vessels are sent out to sea bearing statues of the Virgin Mary, with further boats, heavy with shells, flowers and lights, following in their wake. The squadron sails from Terracina port to Circeo, and enough fireworks to set the sky ablaze are lit on their return. In addition to the religious observance, there is - of course - a fish and seafood festival.
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The Sun Festival (Festa del Sole)
The Sun Festival started life in 1969, and has evolved to become one of Lazio’s most loved festivals. Taking place over one week in Rieti, the festival is concerned predominantly with the arts; there are painting and photography exhibitions, as well as shows and handicraft demonstrations. A literary prize is also bestowed upon a local writer. The local river, Il Velino, has a certain presence during the festival, the best of which is a breakneck swimming race upstream. Sport fans might also want to don their sweatband and running shoes for the night marathon.
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The Machinna of Santa Rosa (La Macchina di Santa Rosa)
The patron saint of people in exile, Santa Rosa (Saint Rose), from Viterbo, was a holy figure renowned for her miraculous powers. These days, the Viterbese immortalise her every September 3, carrying a 30-metre high monument, topped by an icon, through the city’s narrow, medieval streets. The 1km path follows the route her body took back in 1258. Needless to say, the streets are thronged with cheering partisans; 800 candles are lit as the town’s lampposts, and even lights from passing buildings switch off in tribute. The machinna - the monument in question - is left in front of the Church of Santa Rose the following day should you fail to get up close on the night itself.
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The Feast of St Anthony (Festa di Sant’Antonio Abate)
The Feast of St Anthony is celebrated in Capena, 22 miles north of Rome, on the first Sunday after January 17. Somewhat similar to La Macchina di Santa Rosa, there is a grand procession in the saint’s honour through the streets; but there’s plenty more besides. Witness the blessing of animals, traditional singing, a bonfire… oh, and a whole lot of smoking by the town’s denizens! Formerly the poison was dried rosemary in pipes, but nowadays cigarettes make do - though attempts have been made to kibosh this practice. Elsewhere, take in a historic parade and have a go in the jousting tournament!
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Derby of the Capital (Derby della Capitale)
I defy anyone to not dub this football derby an event. Easily among the fiercest rivalries in football, the biggest clubs in the city - namely Roma and Lazio - square off in their shared stadium, Rome’s Stadio Olympico. The clash occurs a couple of times each year, and the rivalry extends beyond football boundaries; it is a political conflict, a clash of devout regionalism. Expect a capacity crowd - the stadium boasts a 70,000+ capacity - and a whole lot of singing; whether you’re big on football or not, the spectacle is certainly worth the ticket price.
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