This April, 21 Rome will celebrate its 2,770th birthday. This date celebrates the founding of the city by Romulus in 753 B.C. Events to commemorate the founding of the Eternal City will take place for several days throughout the city between 21-24 April. During these three days historical reenactments and traditional ceremonies are held around the city that represent some of the early moments in Rome’s ancient history.
Many birthday festivities are celebrated at the Circus Maximus and spread through the city, so visitors on these days will have ample opportunity to join in with revelers. If you’re able to, we recommend getting to know the landscape of Rome before festivities kick off with a bus tour, so that once the events are in full swing, you’ll have a better idea of how to navigate and what you want to check out! Celebrations are kicked off with the Tracciato Del Soclo on the 21st, which recalls the digging of the trench into which offerings were thrown for the gods to garner protection for the fledgling settlement. Following this event is the Palilia ceremony, which has its roots in ancient times dating before the foundation of the city. The Palilia honors the goddess, (god, by some accounts) Pales, protector of flocks and herds. Her celebration entails reference to shepherds, their animals, and bonfire.
The main event, and an easy one to attend to get the full experience of Natale di Roma is the massive parade that both starts and ends at the Circus Maximus. The parade will take place the final afternoon of the birthday celebrations. In true Roman fashion, main characters in the parade will be hundreds of locals dressed as gladiators. For those looking to take in a bit more of the Roman history, we recommend a historic Rome tour, which will actually take you by bus right up to the center of the action at the Circus Maximus. Keep in mind, birthday celebrations may cause you to take a new route!
In addition to celebrating the history of the city, Rome’s birthday is also a time when the city offers free admission to museums and special activities and events at museums and cultural centers. Since getting into all of the Eternal City’s world famous museums can get pricy, this is a good time to visit those that interest you. If you’re looking for more of a curated visit, we recommend a guided tour. This is an excellent way to make sure you’re getting the most out of what could very likely be your only visit to a certain famous museum.
Regardless of how you end up celebrating the founding of one of the world’s most famous cities, you’re sure to have a blast and learn a ton. Make sure to get out there and get involved with as much as you can!
What was your most breath-taking moment in Rome? Do you have any advice for fellow travelers?