La Serenata: Roman Wedding Tradition

La serenata

I came home on a Tuesday and there were 60 people standing outside my gate.

A brief moment of panic struck me — was there a fire?? Why was everyone outside?

But there was no smell of smoke and the crowd seemed relaxed as I weaved my way through the throng and to my front door.

10 minutes later the bass started.

Testaccio Rome traditions

Looking down into the courtyard I could make out the crowd now dancing to rock music under a throbbing blue strobe light.

On a Tuesday.

La serenata

My neighbors peeked their heads out of their windows as I made my way back downstairs.

A MC announced that the fiancé would now take the mic.

Ah ha.

La serenata.


La serenata is a slightly out-dated tradition, so I was thrilled to see it alive and well in my very own front yard.

The groom arrives, in this case with 50 of his closest friends and a huge sound system, to woo his wife-to-be. The crowd sang love songs while the bride, in the third story window, called out requests.

wedding tradition in Rome

The excitement and joy for the couple was clear from the group dancing and good natured bad singing of brave friends.

The show lasted for an hour. As the sound system was rolled out, our quiet Tuesday night was restored.

On Saturday morning, I heard clapping. I walked to window in time to see the beautiful bride being escorted to a white convertible, with another (smaller) crowd cheering her on.

Only in Testaccio…



5 thoughts on “La Serenata: Roman Wedding Tradition

  1. Sophia says:

    Che romantico!! Many thanks for your dedicated blog about Roma. I have taken many ideas from you on what to do, eat and generally have fun in the eternal city and the surrounding areas. Your advice is always spot-on. Grazie mille! 🙂

  2. Andrea says:

    I now live in Gaeta, a small seaside town south of Rome. This happened in my little vico last week too. A large, lively crowd of people gathered around down below (I live on the top floor). There was also a group of firemen. When I first looked down I felt panicked and thought something bad was happening. I guess my neighbor across the way saw my look of panic and confusion and told me it was la seranata and that they were getting married the next week. Shortly after that, the music started and the group had a two-hour dance party in the alley. Love moments like this in Italy!

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