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Italy: Rome Celebrates its 2,765th Anniversary

Rome, the Eternal City, where myth becomes reality. Rome, where there is always something new to discover.

Before becoming site of the Holy See, Rome was first a city, then a republic and eventually an empire. Rome “was the most politically important, richest, and largest city in the Western world” over a period of almost seven hundred years. At the height of its power, the Roman Empire spanned from Britain to the Arabic Peninsula, North Africa and Eastern Europe.

On April 21, 2012, Romans celebrated the 2,765th anniversary of their city. Legend says that the Rome was founded by Romulus, a demigod nurtured by a wolf.

Coliseum on April 21, 2012 (author's photo)

Website, Why Rome?, explained the legend of the so-called Eternal City:

 This Saturday, April 21st, Rome will celebrate its 2,765th birthday. (Can you imagine being around that many years?!) This is based on the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC. In case you're not familiar with the legend, here is a brief overview. Romulus and Remus were twins. Their mother, Rhea, was a Vestal Virgin, and their father was a god (Mars, the god of war). Before they were born, male descendants in the family were killed by their Grandfather's brother. When the twins were born, they were left to die. However, a she-wolf came along and nursed them. The boys grew up to become natural leaders. They decided to found a new city, but couldn't agree on the exact location. The two quarrelled, and Remus was killed in the end. Romulus then founded the new city on the Palatine Hill, and named it after himself … Rome.

Celebrating Rome, senator-style (author's photo)

 

Maria Merola of Satyrnet highlighted [it] the programme of activities:

Punto nodale del compleanno della Capitale saranno i Fori Imperiali che faranno da sfondo a rappresentazioni in grado di cogliere tutti gli aspetti storici, artistici e culturali che hanno reso Roma quello che è oggi. Roma difatti, tocca tutte le forme d'arte da quelle più antiche a quelle più contemporanee.

The focal point of the birthday celebrations will be the Fori Imperiali which will serve as the backdrop to performances that capture all of the historical, artistic and cultural aspects that have made ​​Rome what it is today. In fact, Rome touches all forms of art from the most ancient to the most contemporary.

Soldiers of Ancient Rome (author's photo)

Website Cool Toura gave [it] a more detailed programme of events, inviting readers not to miss the concert:

 Da non perdere, la serata di Sabato 21 Aprile 2012 in via dei Fori Imperiali (altezza Mercati di Traiano), dove alle 20.30 avrà inizio lo spettacolo “Le stelle di Roma” con attori, cantanti e musicisti che si esibiranno dal vivo. … Dalle 23 a mezzanotte, i Mercati di Traiano diventeranno il palcoscenico di uno spettacolo di proiezioni di luci e colori.

Do not miss the evening of Saturday, April 21, 2012 in Via dei Fori Imperiali (Trajan's Market), the show “The stars of Rome” will begin at 8.30pm with actors, singers and musicians who will perform live…. From 11pm to midnight, Trajan's Market will become the stage for a spectacle of color and light projections.

Despite its age, Buzz in Rome found the city to be still in reasonable condition:

Yes, Rome is very old but still in pretty good shape, notwithstanding the damages done by its unruly citizens, politicians and visitors! On April 21 according to the legend/tradition, it turns 2765. But, of course, there is no scientific evidence that it was founded in 753BC, let alone on April 21. Anyway, before the Liberation Day (April 25)/Labour Day(May 1) very long weekend there is one more big occasion to celebrate and have fun in Rome. The City council has organized a lot of events. Let’s see those that might be more enjoyable for non-Italian speakers.

Website 06Blog highlighted [it] the role historical places like the Capitol, Circus Maximus and Fori Imperiali would play in these events:

La Lupa, Romolo e Remo, Giulio Cesare, Nerone, i centurioni, con la storia e le leggende della città antica tornano in pompa magna, con le rivisitazioni storiche al Circo Massimo, il corteo in costume lungo via dei Fori Imperiali, le cerimonie solenni in Campidoglio, il Roma Caput Mundi – The Eternal Musical all’Auditorium Conciliazione, dal 18 al 22 aprile 2012.

There will be the she-wolf, Romulus and Remus, Julius Caesar, Nero, the centurions, with the history and legends of the ancient city. All of them will be back in full regalia from 18 to 22 April 2012 with historical revivals in the Circus Maximus, along Via dei Fori Imperiali and the ceremonies at the Capitol, Roma Caput Mundi – The Eternal Musical Auditorium Conciliazione.

Celebration of Rome's anniversary (author's photo)

These places are a testimony to the glory of Ancient Rome. The Circus Maximus, still accessible despite ongoing restructuring works, was a theatre for all kinds of entertainments over 2,500 years ago, with a capacity of 150 000 spectators. To this day, it is one of the largest stadiums built by mankind.

Architect Tom Rankin of the Sustainable Rome blog linked the anniversary of Rome with Earth Day on April 22. He asked:

 While it’s easy to associate cultural heritage with Rome and environmental sustainability with the Earth, I am interested in building bridges between these two fields both locally and globally since I see the city not as the source of our global environmental problems but as the solution…. Can Rome leverage its richly layered history to sustain itself economically and ecologically? Can it re-use the resources accrued over time to avoid excess consumption? I believe it can and teach a course called Ecological Urbanism which uses Rome as a Laboratory to address themes such as waste, energy, water, transportation and land use.

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