The name of this festival derives from the Italian di noi altri, meaning “of us”, as in a celebration for that particular community.
This popular tradition has its roots in the 16th century and takes place annually from July 16 to 25, in honour of the Madonna of Mount Carmel.
During this time, Trastevere comes alive with stalls, folk music and theatrical events, while outdoor taverns become inundated with locals and tourists.
Central to the celebrations is the religious procession which unfolds on the evening of July 16.
Adorned with jewels and elaborately-dressed, the statue of the Madonna is carried through the streets of Trastevere from the Church of Sant’Agata towards the Church of San Crisgono, where it stays for eight days before returning home by boat along the river Tiber.
This festival dates back to 1535, when a group of fisherman from Corsica discovered the statue of the Madonna, carved from cedar wood, at the mouth of the Tiber in the wake of a storm.
For this reason, the statue is also called the Madonna Fiumarola.
The statue was donated to the Carmelite friars at San Crisgono in Piazza Sonnino, and became the patron saint of Trastevere.
It was originally housed in a chapel especially built by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, but in 1890, the chapel was demolished to make way for Viale del Re, now known as Viale Trastevere.
The statue was then moved to the Church of San Giovanni dei Genovesi, where it remained for a few decades, before being moved to its current home at the Church of Sant’Agata.
As the summer sun warms one of Rome’s most charming neighbourhoods, locals and tourists alike pay homage to the statue, and make the most of the occasion with plenty of food, wine, dancing and fun!