Rome, the capital of Italy, will wind up a weekend of celebrations marking its 2771st birthday today.
On Saturday, the city got a befitting birthday present from its famous football club, Roma, who beat SPAL 2013 3-0 in Serie A, away from home.
The celebrations which began on Friday include exhibitions, concerts, activities for children, street theatre, poetry readings, and a parade in ancient Roman costumes at the Circus Maximus.
On Saturday, Mayor Virginia Raggi placed a wreath at the Altar of the Fatherland, a 19th-century monument in central Rome in honour of King Victor Emmanuel II who presided over the unification of Italy.
“Happy birthday Rome! Today we celebrate the passing of 2,771 years from the founding of the Eternal City,” Raggi tweeted. “Three days of events to create community and celebrate together.”
Official events at City Hall included a prize-giving ceremony to schoolchildren who participated in a contest about the city, to local police officers for outstanding service, and to beloved actor and Rome native, Gigi Proietti.
As well, students from Rome’s International High School with Chinese option — which offers an in-depth Chinese language and Chinese studies curriculum — read a passage from the Aeneid, a Latin epic poem written by ancient Roman poet Virgil in 29-19 BC, which tells the legend of Aeneas, a Trojan warrior who fled to Italy.
According to legend, his descendants Romulus and Remus — the twins who were raised by a she-wolf, and who are the symbol of Rome as well as its soccer team, AS Roma — eventually founded the Eternal City.
Virgil is Dante’s guide in the Divine Comedy, the Renaissance narrative poem that is considered to be one of the great works of world literature.
On Twitter, well-wishers of many nationalities wished Rome a happy birthday — including a group of AS Roma fans in New York.
“Happy birthday Rome,” wrote the Roma Club New York, along with a photo of themselves sporting the yellow and red team colours and its symbol — a shield with the she-wolf and the twins — ahead of Saturday’s Serie A game against Spal, a team from the northern city of Verona. Roma beat them 3-0.