In front of the Casina di Raffaelo

I have wanted to write about the second part of my birthday. I would have written sooner but I have been busy at school.

My birthday party was at a park called Villa Borghese, which is near our house, and it’s a huge park. And there is a little museum in that park called Casina di Raffaello. And that is where I had my birthday party. It has a playground and there are books everywhere. Upstairs there is a party room.

My birthday cake- chocolate with chocolate frosting and a layer of chocolate inside.

I designed my own cake on a piece of paper. Then I brought the design to a café near our house that makes their own amazing stuff like cornetti and cakes and cookies. And they baked it. The cake was huge. I wanted it to be all chocolate with a flower on the top made out of fruit. It was so beautiful. And the cake was delicious- especially the chocolate ganache that they put in the middle, which tasted like melty dark chocolate ice cream. My friends loved it and we hardly had any left after the party even though it was huge. And we had to walk to the park with the cake and all the things for the party.

Now that we have been to a bunch of birthday parties in Rome, we knew what we were doing. Here, everyone arrives at the party a few hours after it is supposed to start and then all the parents stay a few hours after the party is supposed to end. So on my invitation, we asked people to come on time so that we could start the art activities on time. One friend arrived an hour late, but everyone else basically only came a half hour late.

Party snacks and treats from Maria. The orange soda comes in both regular and blood orange flavors.

And my parents brought lots of food for the other parents. My dad brought bottles of prosecco. And our super nice housekeeper wanted to bake me some things for my birthday- she made all of these trays of food. So there was a lot to eat and drink when the grown ups came after the party to get their kids.

A game at the start of the party.

My dad’s favorite part of my birthday party was that when he was walking through the park with the cake on the way to my party, strangers came up, held his arm, and said “Auguri, auguri!” which means congratulations. They were all congratulating him because it was his child’s birthday. People made a big deal about kid birthdays here and they always congratulate the kids’ parents!

A view of some of the horses from the party room.

There were animals all over the place right in front of the building, mostly horses, dogs, and cats. It was a Catholic celebration where a priest gave a special prayer for animals.

Learning about the illustrations (in Italian; the bilingual kids helped translate).

When we arrived to the little museum where I had my birthday, a woman greeted us. Her name was Grazie. She was the person in charge of my birthday party and was really nice.

Creating our illustrations. The art room was very fancy.

I stayed near the entrance so I could see when people arrived. After everyone arrived we went upstairs to where there was a party room.

Here’s what we did. First we played games. Then we had snacks. Maria (the person who cleans our apartment) made these special treats for my birthday. And the museum brought little sandwiches and mini pizzas that were great.

Then we looked at an exhibit of illustrated children’s books from artists around the world. Then my friends and I went to an art room and everyone got to make their own illustrated book. Then we ate the cake. My friends sang happy birthday in Italian and English.

Afterwards, we played on the playground for a really long time.

After the other kids left, I rented go-karts with my friend Eve and we rode around the park.

On the playground after the party with my friends Anna, Darcy, and Eve

It was one of my most fun birthday parties. And whenever I come back to visit Rome, I will always remember that I had a birthday party in the Villa Borghese!

– Nell

Riding a go-kart through Villa Borghese.