Celebrating a friend’s birthday is always a wonderful event. What do you do for a city that is celebrating its anniversary? Rome’s birthday (Il Natale di Roma, as the Romans call it) is coming and some pretty amazing events have been planned for this year’s celebration.
Rome was built in 753 B.C. and every year on April 21st entire city throws a party to remember the day Romulus founded a settlement that would become the material of legends. Events range from riverfront fireworks to gladiator shows, and our advice is to book your seat as soon as you can to win yourself a comfortable spot. Rome takes its birthday party duties seriously: be warned that hotels and restaurants are likely to be packed with guests.
If you’re looking for culture and history, museums will be free for the day – including a number of the most renowned collections. Dedicate some time to a visit to the Borghese Gallery, where you will find Bernini’s incredible sculpture Apollo and Daphne. The gallery itself also hides two hidden gems: on one side you will find an aviary, a series of ‘giardini segreti’ or secret gardens on the other.
However, on April 21st the city will also open for free access its myriad of gardens and parks to celebrate Rome’s birthday. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to rest and sunbathe after a long day, try Villa Sciarra on the Janiculum hill. It has an informal layout, which is actually uncommon in Rome, and is famous for its rare exotic plants.
Finally, look out for the evening fireworks! There is something very Italian about the way they burst about the city with exuberance and joy. Pick your favorite spot along the Tiber and let the sights and sounds of Rome at night wash over you.
And if you want to give Rome a present, explore, discover and wander to your heart’s desire. It’s all this charming old city really wants.