If you have never attended an Italian countryside wine festival this could be a good one to try. The Sagra dellUva 2005 will take place in Marino in the Castelli Romani, 25 km from Rome, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October. On Saturday there will be fairs and markets, conventions and theatrical performances throughout the day. In the evening there will be an eno-gastronomic tour entitled Flavours of the past, a concert of polyphonic music as well as a display of hip hop and break dancing. The day will be rounded off with a concert by Amadeo Minghi at 21.30 in the Piazza S. Barnaba.

Sunday is the big day and at 10.30 following Mass in the Basilica of S. Barnaba Semeraro, the Madonna of the Rosary will be taken in procession around the town to bless the vines. At 17.00 there is a re-enactment of the victorious return to Marino of the Prince Marcantonio Colonna following the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and there will be bands from all over the region. The towns balconies will be festooned with grapes and at 18.00 there is the The miracle of the wine when free wine flows from the fountains in the centre of the town. The evening ends with a concert by Enrico Ruggeri, once again in the Piazza S. Barnaba, and at 23.30 there are fireworks.

Trenitalia is increasing services to Marino on Sunday 2 October and is offering tickets to Marino on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October at a 50 per discount.

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