A real Palio, Il Palio del Velluto, this weekend in Leonessa

Il Palio del Velluto is on this weekend in Leonessa, in the province of Rieti, near the borders with Umbria and Abruzzo. This annual "Velvet Contest" is an historical eight day commemoration of Saint Peter (the Fiera di San Pietro). The Palio del Velluto takes its name from the local weaving style and was held from at least 1464 until 1557, when the event was abolished by the local Governor after a dispute that resulted in four deaths. Mercifully though, things are a little more civilized nowadays, and the games are back on.

A guided tour of the Vatican and the Vatican Museums

I know. I'm a heathen. I've only been to the Vatican once before. It was early. It was the last Sunday of the month (so it was free!), and I was hungover. Heathen. I rushed through the museums to the Sistine Chapel, loved the Last Judgement, and then wandered through the Basilica feeling smug that I'd beaten the crowds, and indeed, missed everything on the way. So when Through Eternity tours offered us a guided tour of the Vatican and the Vatican museums, I figured I should atone for the error of my ways. Add into this mix of contrition and youthful ignorance the fact that Mrs LazioExplorer, despite being a local, has never seen the Sistine Chapel and you can see it was time to do things properly. Time to put things right. How about a 5 hour guided tour of the museums and Basilica?

San Pietro, vaticano