Macchina di Santa Rosa

Saint Rose of Viterbo (1235_1252) is the patron saint of the city of Viterbo located in Italian region of Lazio. In the evening of 3rd of September 100 local men known as “Facchini di Santa Rosa” (porters of Saint Rose) carry the "Macchina" through the medieval city centre. Macchina is the 28 metres high pole. It has weight of some 5 tons. The pole is rebuilt every July and August. Its design is changed every 5 years. The one chosen in 2009 is called “Fiore del Cielo” (in Italian Flower of the Sky). Each porter wears a traditional white uniform, red belt, black boots and a handkerchief over his head.

Facchini di Santa Rosa
Facchini di Santa Rosa

At about 8.00 pm local firefighters start to decorate the Macchina di Santa Rosa with 800 candles. All other lights in this part of city are then turned off. At about 9.00 pm the porters lift the heavy pole and start their little more than 1 km long route. They have short breaks at Piazza Fontana Grande, Piazza del Plebiscito, Piazza delle Erbe, Corso Italia and Piazza del Teatro. The final part of the route is extremely dangerous because of the slope where the church is located. That is why extra men and ropes are added as help to the Facchini. Finally, the Macchina is put in front of the pilgrimage chapel where it stays for couple of days.