For residents of the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome, the most important event of the year is the Festa de Noantri. This festival is celebrated in honor of the Madonna del Monte Carmelo (or Madonna del Carmine). The festivities last from July 15 to 29, although the climax takes place on July 20.
Festa de Noantri Rome
The annual Festa de’ Noantri is so named because the residents of the neighborhood see themselves as different from those in the rest of the city. Noantri means “we others” in the dialect of the neighborhood.
The feast is centered on the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. It refers to an event in 1535, when fishermen found a statue of the Madonna at the mouth of the Tiber River during a storm. The statue was entrusted to the Carmelites of the San Crisogono Church in Piazza Sonnino and became the patron saint of the Trastevere neighborhood. It is popularly called the Madonna Fiumarola.
The statue was originally placed in a chapel specially built by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. However, this was demolished in 1890, when the Via del Re (today’s Viale Trastevere), was constructed. It was then moved to the San Giovanni dei Genovesi Church, where it remained for several decades, before being moved to the Sant’Agata Church on the Via della Lungaretta.
On the first Saturday after July 16 (the feast day of the Madonna del Carmine), the statue is carried at 18:00 in a solemn procession from the Sant’Agata to the San Crisogono Church. Here it remains for eight days, before taking a boat ride in the Tiber at 7:30 p.m. The trip ends at the Piazza G.G. Belli at the beginning of Viale Trastevere. Here, a new procession begins to the Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica, where the Madonna Fiumarola stays for one night, before returning to its normal housing.