About 100 kilometres from Rome you can discover one of the most important traditions of Viterbo: the Macchina di Santa Rosa.
Jump in your car and head in our direction!
Try carrying a 150-kilogram crate on your shoulders for about 90 metres, following the elliptical circuit drawn on the floor of the former Church Della Pace three times.
If you succeed, you could be one of the next porters of Santa Rosa.
Just like that! It says so in the Porter’s Statute. If you want to become a Porter, you must pass the test!
The transport of Santa Rosa is an event that unites the entire city of Viterbo. It is the defining event of this little corner of Lazio and is a must for anyone who no longer lives in Viterbo but comes back just for this occasion.
So many years, indeed centuries, have passed since the first transport of Santa Rosa took place and there are so many documents that the porters, who have been united by the Sodality since 1978, that they were able to collect them and make a museum.
And so, if you are in Viterbo at a time when the transport of Santa Rosa will not be taking place, you can still find out about it in the Museum of the Porters of Santa Rosa, located in Piazza San Pellegrino.
The exhibition is spread over two floors. On the ground floor we can admire 10 scale models of various Macchine di Santa Rosa transported in the past, displayed in chronological order from the oldest surviving one date to 1690 to the more modern 20th-century models, including subsequent models such as the “Ali di Luce” designed by the architect and porter Raffaele Ascenzi and the “Fiore del Cielo” transported between 2009 and 2014.
On the walls hang drawings of the oldest Macchine. Inside the Museum there is also a commemorative “ciuffo” (a characteristic protective cushion used by the Porters during transport) in memory of the visit of Pope John Paul II, another brought into space by astronaut Roberto Vittori and other memorabilia from important episodes in the history of this tradition.
On the first floor there is the audio-visual room where you can watch films about recent and past transports, allowing visitors to experience the same emotions that this spectacular event arouses in the thousands of people who flock to the circuit on the evening of 3 September.
For more information: www.facchinidisantarosa.it