Happy birthday to Rome: Eternal City celebrates 2,774 years today

Rome marks Natale di Roma with a series of online events on 21 April.

Rome celebrates 2,774 years today, 21 April, in a popular birthday tradition known as Natale di Roma.

The annual celebration - known in ancient times as Dies Romana or Romaia - is based on the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC.

The Eternal City normally marks its birthday with historical re-enactments of ancient Roman rituals, costumed parades and gladiator fights, however this year, due to Italy's covid-19 restrictions, the festivities move online.

At midday today the Facebook page of Italy's culture ministry will premiere a newly-edited video showing a timelapse of the Dies Romana phenomenon at the Pantheon (currently closed to visitors) when the sun enters the oculus and creates a disk of light that lands perfectly on the building's entrance.

The Colosseum archaeological park, via its Facebook page, will stream live broadcasts from its main restoration sites as well as offering insights, walks and the grand finale in the evening with the episode of Ulysses dedicated to Imperial Rome, premiered on Italian television channel Rai1.

The city will also be holding light shows at prominent fountains and key locations around the capital, with Bvlgari hosting a video mapping project at its future five-star hotel beside the Mausoleum of Augustus.