Saint Isidoro’s celebration usually falls on the first sunday after the liturgical commemoration of the Spanish saint. The saint’s cult is very popular in the Tuscia territory. In Latera, Isidoro is the patron saint of the bifolcina (a term used to describe a herdmen’s job), of the corporazione dei bifolchi (herdsmen association) and most recently, of tractor drivers and, by extension, farmers.
For a long time now, Saint Isidoro’s celebration has been made up of two main moments. The first is a morning procession that starts in Preta square and ends in the church of Saint Sebastiano, passing through via Roma, via Cadorna, Vittorio Veneto square, Via Cavour, via Vittorio Emanuele II and via dell’Osteria.
The procession is led by kids carrying “cerrate”, a small metallic shovel mounted on top of a long wooden rod. Tied to these shovels using a red ribbon is the typical “biscuit” of Saint Isidoro, a sweet bread very common in the area. The “cerrate” were normally used to clean the ploughshare and the mouldboard back when plowing was done through animals’ motor power and the use of simple ploughs.
The children are followed by Giovanni Vargas on horseback (owner of the land Isidoro worked for), two yoked cows, the person portraying Saint Isidoro, the celebration committee, a marching band, and as of the last few years, tractors decorated with fresh flower bouquets. Once the procession reaches the church it disperses and the religious mass begins.
After mass, the horseman playing Giovanni Vargas reprimands Isidoro, his employee, for taking a break from work in order to attend mass. Hereupon Isidoro reassures the owner, revealing that an angel is working in his place.
This scene of typical popular theater ends with a plough drawn by cows, guided by a young man dressed in white angelic attire, digging a small groove.
At the end of the social lunch held at the Museum, there’s an interregional match of offhand poetry in ottava rima.
This page offers a selection of photographic evidence gathered by the researchers of the Museo della terra of Latera.
The archive is open to the public and available upon request.

Audiovisual documents of Saint Isidoro’s celebration in Latera.


Promotional video of the Feast of Sant’Isidoro, 2012 edition


2019 edition

2018 edition

2017 edition

2016 edition

2015 edition

2013 edition

2012 edition

2011 edition

2010 edition

2009 edition

2008 edition

2007 edition

Photographs by Marco D’Aureli and Michele Tonielli