Macchina di Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is the patron saint of Viterbo and her feast day is celebrated in style with the Macchina di Santa Rosa.
The Macchina di Santa Rosa is a 28-metre-high illuminated tower, which is crowned with a statue of the eponymous saint. Each year, on the evening of September 3rd, it is carried through the city by one hundred of its strongest citizens, known as the 'Facchini di Santa Rosa'. (Facchino is the Italian word for a porter.)
The annual procession celebrates the moving of the body of Santa Rosa, in 1258, from the church of Santa Maria in Poggio to that of Santa Maria delle Rose (today's Santuario di Santa Rosa).
The design of the Macchina di Santa Rosa varies. One remains in use for five years when it is replaced by that of another design.
The route of the procession is just over a kilometre in length and the Macchina di Santa Rosa, which weighs five thousand kilos, makes five designated stops. As the Macchina is carried through the city, the street lights are turned off to dramatic effect!