Tanti Auguri! April 21st is Rome’s birthday!
In 2021, Rome is celebrating its 2,774th birthday – or the Natale di Roma in Italian.
Rome’s birthday is recognized as the day when Romulus founded the city in the year 753 BC.
So if you’ve been giving Rome some grief for not being 100% perfect, maybe consider cutting it some slack. The city is OLD.
Rome’s birthday is also not some modern guesswork. The Ancient Romans were absolutely convinced that Rome was founded on April 21st, 753 B.C. The day was also important in the Roman calendar because it was dedicated to Pales, goddess of the shepherds.
So how does one celebrate the natale di Roma? (Note: these are how to celebrate in normal times, but all of Italy is still in a semi-lockdown for 2021 so the events are canceled and sights are closed).
On April 21st, all the city museums are free- so that is a good place to start. That means even the Colosseum waives the entrance fee!
But the big show is on the weekend, when a massive parade (complete with gladiators) will kick off at Circo Massimo, march past the Colosseum, and up Via dei Fori Imperiali, past the Vittoriano, before looping down towards where it all began at Circo Massimo.
To plan your weekend, and more about all the specific festivities taking place in honor of Rome’s birthday, be sure to check Natale di Roma. The parade is canceled for 2021, unfortunately, because of the lockdown. Poor Rome will have a quiet birthday.