A festival dedicated to "porchetta", the famous roasted suckling pig will take place in the small town of Ariccia in the Castelli Romani south-east of Rome on 3-5 September. The origins of the speciality dates back to the first millenium BC when priest/butcher-like figures offered pigs as sacrifices to the god Mars. Later, the gluttonous emperor Nero continued the gourmet feasting on roast pork and it is from here that the current tradition is thought to originate.

Various activities have been organised and the three-day event culminates on Sunday 5 September when a cart will drive through the streets of Ariccia offering free porchetta sandwiches to all. The art of preparing the pork is a recipe closely guarded by only a few families who pass down the secret to future generations. For more information on the festival tel. 06934851.