Rome celebrates patron saints with public holiday on 29 June

Rome marks Festa di SS. Pietro e Paolo.

Rome celebrates its patron saints Peter and Paul with a public holiday in the Italian capital on Wednesday 29 June, leading to the closure of many shops, businesses and offices in the city.

The annual holiday marks the liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in a celebration that dates back to ancient Christian times.

The date commemorates the death of the two saints, both of whom are said to be buried at the two basilicas that bear their names: St Peter's and St Paul's Outside the Walls.

The event is normally marked by a spectacular fireworks display, which moved from Castel S. Angelo to Piazza del Popolo several years ago, however the 2022 event is not expected to take place.

The idea of Michelangelo, perfected by Bernini, the Girandola fireworks spectacle was first introduced in 1481 and has inspired writers and artists down through the centuries including Dickens, Belli and Piranesi.

Photo Il Messaggero