La Candelora Light Ceremony 'May Entice Visitors to Rome'

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La Candelora festival celebrates an ancient torch-light procession at the church of Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Orto in Rome.

Visiting some of Italy's spectacular churches and religious monuments may be high on the list of priorities for many people booking Rome hotels. (

To make the trip extra special, they could ensure it coincides with La Candelora, which takes place at the church of Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Orto in the city's Trastevere quarter.

This feast of the purification of Mary takes place 40 days after the birth of Jesus on December 25th and is celebrated with a beautiful candle-blessing ceremony.

First introduced in ancient times, from the 7th century onwards Roman Christians would form a procession from the Foro Romano at dawn and light their way around the ruins with torches before visiting the Pope.

Since then, the ritual of blessing the lights has continued. Priests at the Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Orto also bless the River Tiber once a year, nerone reports.

Whether visitors to Rome are religious or not, this could be the perfect way to get a feel for the city and its many traditions and ceremonies.

If people are looking for a more light-hearted way to spend some of their time in the Italian capital, they could pay a visit to La Soffitta Sotto I Porticim, which is a bargain market held twice a month in Rome's Piazza Augusto Imperatore.

If you're heading to the La Candelora this year, we strongly advise that you book your hotel Roma ( as soon as possible, given the huge popularity of the event.

Editors notes: is the UK's leading online accommodation site offering late availability deals in over 30,000 properties worldwide, ranging from bed and breakfasts to five star luxury hotels. offers customers a saving of up to 70 per cent off the normal room rate for a variety of independent and branded hotels. Customers can book online or by phone 24/7, whether booking 12 months or 12 minutes in advance - whatever time, whatever day. No other accommodation site offers this flexibility. arms customers with information to help them choose the right hotel. Users can read from over 520,000 true hotel reviews, written by customers who have booked through and actually stayed at the hotel. is the first online site to use VisitBritain's official national classification system to rate its hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses. This ensures customers know the standards of quality they can expect when making a reservation.

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