Rome, the Foundation

Rome’s Foundation Anniversary
I Natali di Roma
Roma (Lazio region)

The Event

Rome's early history is shrouded in legends and especially its founding has been always explained by the ancient Romans themselves in terms of myths, with the most famous of all being the story of Romulus and Remus, the half-divine twin brothers, children of the Vestal Rhea Silvia and Mars, the Roman god of war. The twins, abandoned at birth on the Tiber river to save them from their murderous uncle, had been found and nurtured by a she-wolf until a shepherd took and raised them as his sons. When Remus and Romulus became adults they decided to found an own city, but had soon a quarrel over its location. Romulus wanted to build the new city on the Palatine Hill, while Remus preferred the Aventine one. The fate smiled at Romulus by a flight of vultures twice that seen by Remus, who, however, didn’t resign and challenged his brother being then killed. Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC when legend says that Romulus plowed a furrow (sulcus) around the Palatine Hill in order to mark the boundary of his new city. The date of the city foundation is still discussed, but recent archaeological excavations seem to confirm that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill in the area corresponding to the later Roman Forum. The remains of fortification walls on the north slope of Palatine Hill can be dated just to the middle of the 8th century BC.

The celebration of April 21st, in ancient time was a great feast day called "Palilia" in honor of Pale, an ancient Roman goddess of the sheep connected with the sanctity of the Palatine Hill. And today among the many initiatives celebrating this important anniversary is to be praised the “Rome’s Foundation Anniversary”, the great historical festival very well organized by the Gruppo Storico Romano and attended every year by thousands of Ancient Roman Reenactors from all over the world. The event starts with the opening ceremony at the Circo Massimo enriched by music, theatre and dance shows, gladiators training and fights, the commemoration of the foundation of Roma and the ceremony of Palilia. The rite of the Lighting of the sacred fire is held in Piazza del Campidoglio, while on Sunday takes place the festival headline: the great historical parade starting from Circo Massimo (route: Circo Massimo, Via del Teatro di Marcello, Piazza Venezia, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Colosseo, Circo Massimo) followed by historical reenactment displays at Circo Massimo. A very original and beloved event is the "Dea Roma" contest with the election of a girl who will be in charge for the whole year embodying the spirit of the Goddess Rome: the ancient Romans admired and loved so much their city that they were used to portray it as a real living goddess. The very rich programme includes as well several cultural lectures and conferences and many educational and leisure activities and workshops for adults and children.


The Programme

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Event official website:

Associazione Culturale Gruppo Storico Romano
Address: Via Appia Antica 18 - 00179 Roma
Tel.: +39 06 51607951 – Fax: +39 06 51606504 – Mob.: +39 3382436678

Official Touristic Office Rome



Rome on Google Maps:



Video reportages from the event:








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