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Birth of Rome festival
Photograph: Corina Daniela Obertas / Shutterstock.com

Rome is celebrating its 2,775th birthday this week

The city is marking the occasion with a programme of exhibitions, reenactments and other educational events

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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Romans, get your cake and candles ready! This week it’s Rome’s birthday – and it’s a big one. This year the Italian capital will mark 2,775 years since – so the myth goes – it was founded by Romulus and Remus (though the latter didn’t last long).

The day is known locally as the Natale di Roma and it takes place tomorrow (April 21). So how do you celebrate a whopping great big birthday like your 2,775th? Well, Rome is going big, as you’d expect.

The festivities will last four days, from April 21 to 24, with plenty of exhibitions, reenactments and other educational events. The Gruppo Storico Romano, a drama group specialising in historical reenactments, will be bringing the city’s history to life with a series of battles, live music, theatre and dance displays.

Expect Roman gladiators sparring in the street, recreations of ancient Roman festivals and loads of fascinating workshops. The Gruppo Storico Romano has put together a four-day programme, with the majority of performances being free and taking place at the Circus Maximus. 

On April 21, many of Rome’s museums (specifically those that are run by the city itself) will also be free to access. The birthday celebrations will be topped off with a ‘grand parade’, a march from the Circus Maximus to the Colosseum starting at 10.30am on Sunday.

It should be noted that while April 21, 753 BC is Rome’s official birthday, the city’s actual beginnings are hotly debated. Some archaeologists reckon humans have been occupying the same area for over 5,000 years. Any excuse for a party, eh?

2022’s Natale di Roma looks set to be an all-out celebration of a legendary city. For the full programme, see the official website here.

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