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When was Rome founded?

To answer this question, we need to turn to the legend: Rome was founded by Romulus the 21st of April 753 B.C.. This date is obviously conventional, since very few cities of the history have a date of foundation (among them, Constantinople, officially inaugurated the 11th of May 330 A.D.). However, archaeological researches on the Palatine Hill, the legendary first of the seven hills of Rome, have proven that the area was inhabited already in VIII Century B.C., thus confirming the date of the founding of Rome very likely.

Speaking of which, we have to read the work Ab urbe condita (since the city’s founding) by Titus Livy, a Latin historian who lived at the time of Augustus (I Century B.C.), if we want to get some more details. Romulus and Remus, two legendary twins sons of the God Mars and the vestal virgin Rea Silvia, were abandoned on the River Tiber where a she-wolf found the and nurtured them, until they were saved by a shepherd named Faustulus. A different version has it that the she-wolf was just a prostitute. The Latin name for her cave, Lupercalis, is exactly the same word for brothel. And the feast of Lupercalia was a ancient festival meant to bring fertility and fecundity to the city, with clear sexuality implications.

They decided then to establish a new city, but being twin brothers they had equal rights to do it. So they turned to the Gods to have a sign of approval, through a contest of augury. Remus went to the Aventine Hill and saw 6 vultures, but soon afterward on the Palatine Hill Romulus saw 12. Both groups claimed the victory, the new dispute degenerated into a fight and Remus was killed. Or, he was killed by his brother after he crossed the line Romulus had drawn, the Pomerium, the sacred border.

So, whenever you think the city of Rome is chaotic and somewhat violent, remember that as it was founded, and there were only two inhabitants, one killed the other one.

Enough with legend, let’s get back to the present. For the anniversary of the founding of Rome (this year the Eternal City turns 2.771 years old) there are lots of events planned. As every year, opens to public the Rose Garden on the slope of the Aventine Hill. We visit it during our Panoramic Segway Tour, with two departures time a day. The heart of the celebration will be the Circus Maximus, featured on our afternoon Glory of Rome Segway Tour. Starting at 9am, there will be stands about the everyday life in ancient Rome, about nutrition, medicine, religion, clothing and make-up. A special section will be set up for gladiators and legionaries. No to be missed, the commemoration of Romulus drawing the line in the ground, at 3.30pm. From 6pm onwards, live music with the Frediani il Trio and Lavinia Fiorani.

At the Pantheon, from 11am to 12 noon, the commemoration of the arrival of Hadrian will take place. Outside Rome when Trajan died, Hadrian came to the city in 118 A.D. to be acclaimed emperor. Furthermore, archeologists have found that the sunlight used to hit the entrance of the temple right at noon, on the 21st of April, as the emperor walked in. You will be perfectly in time if you take our Classic Rome Segway Tour, starting at 10am. The celebrations go on the 22nd of April too, with a parade of 1.500 people dressed in ancient Rome costumes.

Our best wishes to the Eternal City and we look forward to showing you its great beauty on one of our Segway Tours of Rome or our Private Rome Segway Tour, at the best rate in town!

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