The Marino Grape Festival is known as one of the oldest wine festivals in Italy. It was first celebrated in 1925, and annually about 3,000 liters of wine are prepared for the feast.
Celebration of the festival has its own traditions. It begins with a religious procession commemorating Madonna del Rosario, whose feast is annually on October 7. The Marino locals call her Our Lady of Victory, and this name is connected with the events of October 7, 1571, when the town welcomed Marcantonio Colonna, a general who fought in the Battle of Lepanto against the Ottoman navy and won it.
In the afternoon a medieval procession goes along the streets of the town, which re-enacts the return of Marcantonio Colonna from the battle. A jousting tournament is also organized to please the visitors. And finally, at 5 pm, comes the event everyone’s been waiting for. For one hour only the central fountain of the town starts spilling wine instead of water. From now on local wineries open their doors suggesting every visitor to taste the wine, that is accompanied by local specialties. Wine is distributed for free.
The tourists are welcomed to watch the festival, but if you decide to join the celebration, you need to remember that it’s not an ordinary festival. It is a real celebration of the town, so thing can get rowdy in the evening.
Music plays all day long during the celebration of the festival and everyone is welcomed to participate in folk dance. The festival is ended late in the night with a masquerade procession and a colorful firework.