Rome celebrates 2771st birthday

Updated 2018-04-22 11:47:05 Xinhua

Performers take part in the show to present Rome's legendary foundation by Romulus in 753 BC at the Circus Maximus in Rome, capital of Italy, April 21, 2018. Celebrations took place across Rome on Saturday as the capital of Italy commemorated its founding 2,771 years ago. (Xinhua/Jin Yu)

Celebrations took place across Rome on Saturday as the capital of Italy commemorated its founding 2,771 years ago.

Mayor Virginia Raggi placed a wreath at the Altar of the Fatherland, a 19th-century monument in central Rome in honor 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.

Celebrations for Rome's birthday, which began on Friday and last into Sunday, include exhibitions, concerts, activities for children, street theater, poetry readings, and a parade in ancient Roman costumes at the Circus Maximus.

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 colors and its symbol -- a shield with the she-wolf and the twins -- ahead of today's Serie A game against Spal, a team from the northern city of Verona.

The city was rewarded with a birthday gift: Roma beat Spal 3-0.

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