To say that today was a good day would be an understatement, for today was the parade of the Historical Reenactment of Ancient Rome. For the past 20 years, a group of actors has been bringing ancient Rome back to life in the form of reenactments. These past few days they have held exhibits, gladiator matches, historical reenactments such as the assassination of Emperor Julius Cesar, and several other games, activities and educational discussions for the public. What better way to end the weekend of celebration than to end it with more than 1,500 people participating in a two-hour parade through the center of the city while fully clothed and fully in character?
The Parade began in Circus Maximus which was the location for many ancient roman events such as horse races. The parade route cut right through the center of the city by going through the symbolic heart of Rome known as Piazza Venezia and along side the Colosseum till it looped back toward the Circus Maximus. Though the parade only lasted 2 hours it felt as if one had gone through ages of history!
The parade focuses on ancient roman times and includes Emperors, Roman Soldiers of various regions and times, Vestal Virgins, Senators, Gladiators, common folk, dogs, and even Jesus!
The actors not only show what ancient Romans dressed like, but they act like them as well. As the hundreds of people stood watching, various different groups of parade participants made different performances and such. For instance the soldiers made the infamous Roman war defensive stance known as ‘murum’ . Gladiators fought each other in the middle of the parade and even pretended to attack the spectators at some points. The Empress was carried on a bed by several men on their shoulders. And of course the Emperor was guarded by the Praetorian Guard from the photographers who attempted to get too close!
The parade was the most fun I have had while being here in rome. One of my favorite parts was when people would try to cross the street to get a better view the Roman Soldiers would yell at them and pretend to draw their swords as if under attack! I found myself receiving orders from a Praetorian Guard to hand him my water bottle, and of course I handed it to him! As I began to walk away he ordered me to stop and help him open it so that he could drink and hand it back to me.
I can say that without a doubt this has been one of the best experiences I have had while being here in Rome. Though I am no stranger to parades this is definitely one of the best parades I have ever seen! It comes in a close second to the World Famous Rose Parade in Pasadena! In sum, the locals were right by saying that this would be one of the greatest things I would ever experience! Thank you Rome!