Happy Birthday Rome

Happy Birthday Rome

 

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Rome is 2768 Years Old.

The whole city is marking the traditional “birthday” of Rome, commemorating the founding of the city by Romulus on April 21, 753 BC.

Each year the streets become a stage for military bands, troupes of actors dressed as denizens of the ancient city, and Roman maids marching in front of the Colosseum in a commemorative parade. The whole centro storico will be the scene of one big party.

Members of historical dramatic society Gruppo Storico Romano bring history to life by re-enacting battles, historic events, and displays of ancient theatre and dance in the city centre. There will be exhibitions for school kids, at Circo Massimo, from 9 am – 4 pm.

The grand finale is the inauguration of a new permanent lighting display at the Via dei Fori Imperiali, created by Oscar-winning cinematographer Vincenzo Storaro, (Apocalypse Now and The Last Emperor).

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Romulus and Remus

According to the legend, Rome’s history began when the pagan god Mars, enchanted by the beauty of a Vestal Virgin, Rhea Silvia, went to her temple in the town of Alba Longa, resulting in her breaking her sacred oath of chastity.

When she gave birth to twin boys, the king ordered that the infants should be thrown in to the Tiber. Thus, they were placed in a basket and sent along the river, but the trough came ashore and they were found by a she wolf who fed them with her milk.

Reaching adulthood the twins decided to found a town, and chose the place where the wolf had nursed them. Romulus began to build walls on the Palatine Hill, but Remus mocked the low walls, leaping over them, and an angry Romulus killed him.

The city’s birthday has been marked annually since 1870. The “date of birth” is believed to have been established by the first-century BC historian Marcus Terentius Varro who based his findings on a date ascertained by his friend, the astrologer, mathematician and philosopher Lucius Taruntius Firmanus. Although contemporary scholars are at loggerheads over the actual date, archaeological finds in recent years such as an eighth-century BC wall on the Palatine hill would seem to support the legend.

Rome then became the Caput Mundi, with 60 million people, at the height of Rome’s power, worshipping the Emperor like a god.

And, the rest, as they say, is history!

Raise a glass of Prosecco, and say ‘salute’ to bella Roma!

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