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Rome museums free for city's 2,776th birthday on 21 April

Eternal City marks Natale di Roma with display of rare gold glass found during recent subway works.

Rome celebrates its 2,776th birthday by opening city-run museums for free on Friday 21 April 2023.

The free opening is part of the city's cultural programme of events including guided tours, exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances and film screenings to mark the occasion.

In addition to municipal museums and their exhibitions, there will be free access to the archaeological area of the Circus Maximus.

This year there will be a number of special events to mark Natale di Roma, the annual birthday celebration based on the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC.

As part of the VRBS ROMA exhibition, the city will display the newly-restored representation of the goddess Roma on ancient gold glass, found earlier this year during construction works for Rome's third subway line.

Originally the base of a drinking glass, the discovery features a rare vetro dorato image of the female deity - the personification of the city of Rome - wearing a helmet and carrying a spear.

The city will also display a new commemorative medal, minted in honour of Rome's birthday and depicting the goddess Roma, in the Giulio Cesare hall at the Campidoglio.

Another special event will be the unveiling of the restored Fontana della dea Roma at the base of Palazzo Senatorio in Piazza del Campidoglio.

Rome's opera house opens its doors for free guided tours focusing on the history of the theatre, with reservations required by emailing promo.pubblico@operaroma indicating the number of people and a time preference (midday or 14.30).

The city also reopens its rose garden, the Roseto Comunale on the Aventine hill, which will remain open for free every day from 08.30 to 19.30 until 11 June.

The biggest event to mark Natale di Roma is a free festival of historical re-enactments including costumed parades past the Colosseum and gladiator fights in the Circus Maximus, from 20-23 April.

This three-day festival of pageantry and workshops is provided by the Gruppo Storico Romano which brings history to life by re-enacting battles, Roman rituals and displays of ancient theatre and dance.

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