The third weekend in March sees the city streets transformed for the Rome Marathon. The 42km run begins at the Roman Forum, and follows a circular sightseeing route past St Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, before ending at the Colosseum. It’s a good time to go for a springtime stroll, as the streets in Rome’s historic centre are closed to traffic. If 42km seems far too gruelling, join in the 4km fun run. <br /><br />
<h3>Discovering Easter traditions</h3>
Easter food traditions in Rome include soft-boiled eggs for Easter breakfast, roast lamb with spring vegetables like artichokes and asparagus for lunch, sweet bread called colomba pasquale in the shape of a dove and, of course, those shop windows filled with displays of beribboned chocolate Easter eggs. Less edible, specially crafted Easter egg-inspired creations can be admired at the annual Art of Easter Eggs Exhibition, held over Easter at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Milano 9. <br /><br />
<h3>Celebrating Rome’s birthday</h3>
On 21 April, Rome celebrates its birthday, Natale di Roma, tracing its founding back to 753BC. The annual festivities include fireworks, street performances and parades across the city, including mock gladiatorial games, chariot races and historic re-enactments at the Circus Maximus and Roman Forum. Free concerts of classical music take place at the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill.