The Ottobrate Romane are a long time tradition. In papal Rome, the Ottobrate were the day trips in the countryside made mainly at harvest time that became very popular as a form of entertainment for the nobles and the people.
The trips were usually carried out on Thursday; in the early hours of the morning, some `carrettelle` (carts pulled by horses adorned with bells) were leaving from the city centre. It was custom for everyone to dress to the nines: women used to adorn themselves with flowers and feathers, but also men, as illustrated by the many prints and engravings depicting these traditional events.
The presence of gardens and vineyards around the outskirts of the city favored the spread of this tradition. The usual destinations of the trips were the Monte Testaccio, the area around Ponte Milvio, that between Monteverde and the Porta San Pancrazio or outside the Porta San Giovanni and the Porta Pia, which in the first half of the nineteenth century were still planted with orchards and vineyards.
The program was based on games such as bowling, tumbling and greasy poles; then there were songs (the traditional `stornelli`), dances, wine in rivers and large meals: during the ” Ottobrate ” gnocchi, mushrooms, tripe and lamb would never be missing.
This tradition has managed to get to our times thanks to the mild climate characterizing the month of October in this part of Italy although since the city has become much bigger, of course it is necessary to go a bit further than ancient Romans used to go.
The warm sun in the middle of the day and the cool evening air, the indescribable color of Rome and the surrounding countryside at sunset … that’s what will welcome you at this time of the year and there is no best time to explore the Lazio region and enjoy it at its maximum beauty!