When in Rome, Celebrate the Ancient City’s Birthday and Delight in Its Landmarks
Rome is celebrating its 2,775th birthday on April 21st, 2022. It will be a grand bash for The Eternal City, a reference to the longevity of a place whose history dates back for more than two millennia.
Legend states that Romulus founded the settlement in 753 BC, the city that grew from a small town on the Tiber River eventually became the empire we know of today. At its height, this great city “encompassed most of continental Europe, Britain, much of western Asia, northern Africa and the Mediterranean islands.” Today we are left with so much that came from Roman dominance, including the use of Romance languages originating from Latin, as well as today’s Western alphabet, calendar, and spread of Christianity.
Rome went from 450 years as a republic that saw dictator Julius Caesar’s rise and fall. With Augustus, its first emperor, Rome flourished. In the fifth century A.D., the western Roman Empire fell, leaving a civilization in ruins, which is discussed widely in history books today.
When you visit the city these days, you find a wonderful mix of the city’s vast history mixed with the new. It’s a city to delight in while walking by one landmark after another as you take in a truly European, metropolitan vibe.
Celebrations Abound for Rome’s Birthday
The birthday celebration of Rome is known as Natale di Roma. This year, historical reenactments will take place, including costumed parades, gladiator fights, and trench digging. Events will be held at The Circus Maximus from April 21st-24th.
The Palilia ceremony is yet another re-enactment in honor of the pastoral goddess Pales. On April 24, the grand parade will take place at 11 a.m., which typically features about 1,500 participants in costumes marching to and from Circus Maximus by way of the Colosseum.
Visit Rome’s Historic Landmarks starting with the Colosseum
While Rome surely wasn’t built in a day, the city offers so many places to see that you couldn’t possibly see them all in one visit. But you can definitely try to take in some of the significant spots, starting with the Colosseum.
Known for its history and standing east of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, officially known as The Flavian Amphitheater, is made of stone and was gifted by Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian dynasty) to the people of Rome. It was known for holding notorious gladiator and wild animal fights that ended after four centuries.
Visit the Colosseum today, a popular destination for people from all over the world. It’s a highlight to see due to its eerie beauty, interesting history, and that it’s a wonderful place to take photos with a backdrop like no other.
The Beauty of the Sistine Chapel
Although Michelangelo didn’t believe he had it in him to paint the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, it was what he ended up doing after Pope Julius II asked him to do so. Michelangelo saw himself more of a sculptor rather than a painter, certainly not one who worked with frescoes. He ended up spending four years painting the ceiling that people from all over the world venture to visit.
The chapel is located in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, which is where the Pope resides. Millions visit the Sistine Chapel yearly and bend their neck upwards to spy one of the world’s greatest works of art.
To this day, the Pantheon in Rome stands intact and has withstood the test of time. That’s no small feat and is considered “one of the best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome.” It was completed about 126-128 AD, which was during Emperor Hadrian’s reign. It sits where an earlier structure – also called the Pantheon – was built. The structure is familiar as other buildings in history reflect its design. Many have no idea what the purpose of the Pantheon was. However, it started to be used as a church in 608 AD.
Two Italian kings were buried here and their monuments added. You’ll relish in all the history of this significant building.
Make a Wish at Trevi Foundation
People from all over the world visit Fontana di Trevi, known as the Trevi Fountain, the most famous fountain in Rome. Built in the 18th century, it is located in the Trevi district of the city and is widely known as the most stunning fountain in the world.
It was created by architect Nicola Salvi after a competition was launched by Pope Clement XII. “Leaning against Palazzo Poli , the fountain is divided into a large basin with a large cliff enlivened by the sculptural representation of numerous plants and the spectacular flow of water.”
If you visit, make sure to throw a coin into the fountain, which means you will return to Rome. Trevi Fountain has also been featured in movies including “La Dolce Vita.”
Walk The Spanish Steps
While visiting Rome, make sure to visit The Spanish Steps, known in Italian as Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti. The steps lead to the church of Trinita dei Monti and are made of 12 ramps and 135 travertine steps that are said to be the longest and widest staircase in Europe. While sitting on the steps is not allowed, there was a time when they were often considered a resting place after long walks through Rome. Millions of tourists from all over visit the Spanish Steps throughout the year.
Spring is celebrated here annually with a floral tribute of azaleas placed on the steps. Each year the event features a different variety of unique plants.
Visit Roman Baths
When in Rome take in the Baths of Caracalla, “the greatest example of large imperial baths and one of the largest thermal complexes of antiquity.”
The public baths were completed in 216 and were a spa complex featuring hot and cold baths, swimming pool, saunas, sports and gymnastics, gardens, libraries and shops. The baths held up to 1,500 people.
When visiting, you can enjoy the baths virtually through a viewer that allows you to experience it as if you were actually there 2,000 years ago.
Take in Rome in One Day
Rome is a fascinating city and one that’s great to walk. Check out our Rome in a Day walking tour. You’ll not only get to walk the city but visit the Vatican, Colosseum and the Historic Center in about seven hours.