Rome is the capital of Italy and the most visited city in Italy. We explored Rome with kids for three weeks and during learn lots of interesting facts about Rome.
Having been around for centuries, there are many things about Rome that people don’t know. In that spirit, here are some facts and secrets you may not know about Italy capital.
Ancient Rome facts
How Old Is Rome ? Romulus and Remus founders of Rome
According to legend, Rome was founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus on the site where they were suckled by a she wolf when they were orphaned babies, circa 753 BC. However, studies show that the city was inhabited even before 753, though Rome celebrates its creation on 21 April. According to the legend Romulus killed his twin brother Remus and become the first ruler of Rome.
Rome is believed to be 2,800 years old today.
About 90 percent of ancient Roman has not to be unearthed
Roman has plenty of archaeology sites and numerous excavations have been ongoing for centuries now. However, thanks to its 2,800 years of history, 90 percent of its ancient structures have not been excavated, and may never be excavated because most of these sites now are occupied by businesses and homes.
The original city is deep underground, as when the building got abandoned, destroyed the debris covered the site and later was built on. Ancient Rome was 30 feet below the current street level.
City on hills
The city of Rome was constructed on 7 hills namely Aventine Hill, Capitoline Hill, Caelian Hill, Palatine Hill, Esquiline Hill, Quirinal Hill, and Viminal Hill.
Do you want to learn more about Italy – Read Interesting facts about Italy
What is Rome’s nickname?
Rome is called The Eternal City because the city continued to grow in terms of size, population, and influence, and so the Ancient Romans believed that theplace would live on forever. They might have been right. Other Rome name Roma Caput Mundi comes from Latin and means Rome Capital of the World.
The famous Pantheon has been in use for around 2,000 years from the time it as completed in circa 126 A.D to now. Pantheon has the biggest in the world dome from not reinforced concrete. Pantheon was the first pagan temple which got transformed into the Christian church, which saved this amazing building from being destroyed during the dark ages.
Pantheon doesn’t have windows, the light and rain get to it via a hole in the roof – oculus. Pantheon is the most visited ancient Rome landmarks as access to it is free.
All roads lead out of Rome
Contrary to the common belief that all roads lead to Roman, from the Roman point of view, all roads lead out if the city and not to the city. The road systems were constructed to make it easier for Roman Soldiers to move out of the city, particularly from the Milliarium Aureum (Golden) in the Forum. Romans build road network over 53,000 miles long.
Ancient Rome was more densely populated than modern Rome
Prehistoric Rome was approximately 32 times more densely populated than modern Rome. This is because the entire population in the ancient town was contained within its walls.
First 1 million population city
Rome became the first city to have 1 million inhabitants in the world, in 133 BC. In comparison, London reached that landmark in 1810 while Paris 1850.
Rome was not always the capital
Though the town has been around for thousands of years, even being the capital of the Rome Empire, it only became the capital of Italy in 1871.
Before then, the capital was Turin and then Florence.
Ancient Roman Hygiene
Apparently Roman use human and animal urine to brush their teeth. Uggrr Gross, actually it wasn’t so bad they just used extracted from urine amonia which is great cleaning product. they used it as well to wash their togas.
After Roman empire conquer east and north and saw light hair women and man they wanted to have same light hair to achieve this they dye their hair with beech wood ashes and goat fat. the most popular hair colour in ancient Rome was blond and red.
Ancient Romans were born as free people. To symbolize that they are a citizen of the Rome they were wearing linen togas. While ladies were a female version of Toga called Stola
First shopping mall
Did you know that Ancients Romans were first to shop in the shopping mall? The first shopping mall was built around 110AD by The Roman Emperor Trajan.
The Colosseum wasn’t its original name
This iconic structure was constructed in 72 AD under the reign of Emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, Vespasian’s son. Since the emperor and his son were from the Flavian Dynasty, the amphitheater was named the Flavian Amphitheater. Its current name was inspired by the colossal statue of Emperor Nero that was perched near the entrance.
The iconic Colosseum has been one of the centerpieces of Rome for hundreds of years. The theater, which is largest in the world, by the way, used to stage gladiators fights, the last one believed to have taken place in 435 AD.
Throughout the fight, it is estimated that more than 500,000 fighters and a million animals perished.
The Colosseum also hosted naval battles
To achieve this, the theatre would be flooded completely to be able to support ships.
What is Rome famous for?
Rome is known for its beautiful architecture, art, landscape, as well as some of the most recognizable landmarks in the world such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Forum, and the Pantheon.
The city became so powerful due to its huge army that conquered other empires across Europe and the Middle East.
The city of churches, fountains and obelisks
- Rome has over 900 Churches, more than any other city on the planet.
- Rome has more fountains than any other city in the world. The town has fifty monumental fountains along with hundreds of small fountains, and a total of over 2000. These fountains have been around since ancient times. It is believed that the fountains were constructed to provide the soothing sound of water to counter the traffic noise in the city.
- Rome is the city with the biggest amount obelisks in the world – It has 13 obelisks !!!
Coins in Trevi Fountain
If you have ever been to Rome, you must have heard or even seen the magical fountain of Trevi. Here people toss coins in the water so that their dream can come true.
Every night around 2,000 – 3,000 Euros are fetched from the bottom of the fountain. Yearly almost 700,000 to 1,3 million euros worth of coins are tossed into the fountain. and all the money go to charity.
The capital is older than its country
Roman was a founder long before Italy. During the prehistoric period, the Italian peninsula was made up of different cultures under the Roman Empire. But when the empire fell, the peninsula divided into several city-states that were never at peace. It was not until the late 19th century that Italy became a unified state.
The pizza was not invented in Rome
In ancient Greek, flatbreads were topped with cheese, oils, garlic, and herbs. This is believed to have the first version of pizzas. This method of serving flatbread spread to Italy, specifically Naples, where it was refined into modern pizza.
Most visited city in Italy
Despite fighting for the spotlight from with the likes of Venice, Florence, and Milan, Rome is the most visited city in Italy with more than 9 million visitors every year.
The symbol of Rome is SPQR
If you are keen enough, you will see the initials SPQR in structures all over Rome starting with the city’s coat of arms, manhole covers, ancient landmarks, and some of the official buildings.
The initials mean Senatus Populusque Romanus, which is Latin for “The Senate and People of Rome”.
The first newspaper was published in Rome
Romans used to ensure the public receives information about everything that was happening in the empire. So, they published all these pieces of information in newspapers containing legal and military issues as well as lifestyle issues such as death announcements and birth notices.
Vatican city facts
St Peters’s Basilica
St Peters’s Basilica finished in 1615 (after 100 years) is the largest church building. St Peters’s Basilica St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest Christian church building in the world
A secret passage link Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican
As one of the lesser-known things about Rome, there is a secret tunnel linking the Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican City. The tunnel, called Passetto del Borgo, was used by Pope Clement VII to escape to the nearby castle during the 1527 siege of Rome.
The Acta Diurna or Daily Acts is believed to be the first newspaper in Rome.
Located within the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel is the same size as the Temple of Solomon on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as described in the Bible’s Old Testament.