Rome has begun a year-long program of celebrations leading up to its 150th anniversary as the capital city of Italy in 2021.
The anniversary commemorates the declaration of Rome as the capital of the nascent Kingdom of Italy on February 1871 after Italian forces led by Garibaldi put an end to papal control of Rome and the Papal States.
The opening commemorative ceremony – a concert at Rome’s Opera House last night –
…began with Italy’s national anthem and was held in the presence of Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella and Rome mayor Virginia Raggi.
Launching the opening ceremony, the mayor said: “Rome is a welcoming, international city. A city open to all. It always will be.”
The event alternated between music and performance, with luminaries on stage including composer Ezio Bosso, actor Gigi Proietti, and tenor Andrea Bocelli, who cited Goethe’s declaration of Rome as the “capital of the world”.