On Friday 21st April, Rome celebrates its 2770th birthday in what is more commonly known as the Natale di Roma. This annual celebration commemorates the founding of Rome by Romulus in the year 753 BC and is held at Circus Maximus. The event features re-enactments of various rituals, ceremonies and even gladiatorial fights.
One such tradition is that of the Tracciato del Solco, which dates back to the early beginnings of the city where a hole called the mundus was dug and the first settlers laid fruit and other offerings to appease the gods. In the ritual the mundus was covered over by a square stone and a pyre was lit, symbolizing the birth of the city. The Tracciato del Solco will be held at 3pm and will be followed by Palilia, originally a shepherd’s ceremony that predates the foundation of the city. And make sure not to miss the corsa all’anello (5.30-6.30pm), an equestrian spectacle where knights on horseback battle it out in a medieval game of lances thrown through suspended hoops. Chariot races are also on tap.
The festivities continue on Saturday the 22nd with a slew of didactic events on ancient Rome, kid-friendly games, and live jazz music by Frediani & Trio.
Rome’s birthday concludes with a historic parade on Sunday the 23rd April from 9am- 6pm, featuring gladiators, priests, senators and notable figures in ancient Rome. The procession will start at Circus Maximus and pass the Colosseum, The Altare della Patria and other notable monuments in the area before circling back to Circus Maximus again. In addition, the Sunday’s festivities will also feature a legion battle commemorating Emperor Trajan’s victory over the barbarian empire of the Dacians. All re-enactments are conducted by the Gruppo Storico Romano, a historical and cultural association dedicated to bringing the world of the ancients to life through dramatic performance.
For more information on the Natale di Roma head over to natalidiroma.it or check out their Facebook page.