Friends, Romans and countrymen – get down to Villajoyosa!

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ROMANS: Visitors can immerse themselves in Ancient Rome. Photo Credit: Ayuntamiento de Villajoyosa

FESTVM ALONIS (in Latin, “the party of Allon”) is a Roman festival that is held annually thanks to an agreement between the Villajoyosa council and the Cultural Association Hispania Romana, the best known Roman historical recreation society in Spain.

This event faithfully recreates a Roman military camp in different parts of the town in recognition of the fact that, to remember that a Roman camp was installed in the centre of the current Villajoyosa during the Sertorian War that lasted from 80BC to 72BC.

Festum Alonis pays special attention to civilian, not just military life and each year the public is shown aspects of daily life in Roman times highlighting social classes, trades, and women’s lives.

This important event will have its headquarters in the military camp (castra), next to the Roman Funerary Tower of Sant Josep, a key monument of Roman Hispania.

The event will start tomorrow (Saturday) with special visits dedicated to the wreck of the Bou Ferrer and the Roman City in Vilamuseu at 10am and 11am. At 12.30pm the expert writer on Roman culture Néstor F. Marqués, who will attend all of the activities this year, will be at the Vilamuseu to sign copies of his book A year in Ancient Rome.

Public guided tours in Spanish, Valencian and English to the Torre de Sant Josep and the camp will take place from 5pm to 8pm and visitors will become involved in the frenetic activity of a camp during the preparations for the later Cantabrian Wars (29-19 BC), which led to the creation of the VIIII Hispana legion, the famous “lost legion”, in northern Spain.

Festum Alonis is the first major event in the annual calendar of the Hispania Romana Cultural Association and will be attended by attended by re-enactors from all over Spain.

A couple who were married in a Roman ceremony during Festum Alonis IV in 2015 are now parents of a child who will receive the Roman equivalent of a baptism during the event.

On Sunday morning from 11am to 12.30pm the mood will change as the organisation looks at the treatment of death in Ancient Rome and by the mouth of the Torres River there will be the representation of the rites of the deceased and then a funeral procession accompanied by ancient music to the Tower of Sant Josep also with English commentary.

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