During our recent trip to Rome we were lucky enough to witness the celebration of city's 2,766th birthday. Yes, it is that old! Romulus supposedly founded the city on April 21, 753 B.C.
Romans have been celebrating Natale di Roma for over two millennia and this year was no exception. There were a few events honoring this holiday and as luck would have it, we were just passing by National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (aka Altare della Patria) when Roman mayor stopped by to place a wreath on the monument. The event was accompanied by a few tunes from a military marching band.
I also posted a couple of photos of this huge monument in my previous Wordless Wednesday post - you are welcome to check them out. The monument truly is magnificent and definitely deserves a special mention.
Despite of all the festal spirit we were very much amused by a bunch of policemen trying to maintain temporary traffic arrangement. One of the exits from the roundabout in front of the monument was closed during the event but local drivers did not take that easily. Every few minutes a car stopped, with someone trying to explain his reasons for an exception. It was funny to watch how the police officer's attitude was changing from strict at the beginning of each conversation to a more understanding and in some cases indulgent in the end.
You could hardly witness such a display somewhere in the UK. This was also a perfect example of how rules are often meant to be bent and even broken in a society like Italian. If you are aware of this fact, an Italian vacation might prove to run a lot smoother.
Every year on 21st of April Aventine Hill is decorated with lights, and often there is a fireworks display set over the Tiber River. This year there was also a free open-air concert held on the Piazza del Popolo. Another thing worth noting is that on this day most museums and city parks are open and also offer free admission to the public.