Pietros Maneos once said that “Rome seems a comfort to those with the ambitious soul of an Artist or a Conqueror”, and it truly couldn’t be said any better.
Here are 15 facts revealing why Rome is, well… ROME:
- When talking about their capital, Italians refer to it as ROMA, however, if you read it backwards it will sound like “amor” which in Spanish means “love”.
- According to the legend, Romus, the man who founded Rome in 753 BC, had a twin brother called Remus. When they were newborns, they were abandoned in the area of what later became known as Rome until a female wolf found and raised them. Later when the two brothers grew up had a fight in which Romus killed Remus and became the founder of Rome.
- Today Rome has around 280 fountains and 900 churches.
- Fontana di Trevi is the most popular fountain of them all. According to some beliefs, if you throw a coin in the fountain, life will bring you back to Rome (in my case it was true!) or the wish that you made before you threw the coin will come true. Every night, there are around 3000 Euros on the bottom of the fountain, money which are donated to Caritas, a Catholic charity who helps people in need.
- The Colosseum, by far the most popular touristic attraction in Rome, is the place where estimate 500,000 people and over a million wild animals lost their lives during the gladiatorial fights. The last one took place at in 435 AD. Oh and by the way, The Colosseum was not called The Colosseum back in ancient times, but “Amphitheatrium Flavium” because it was built by the Flavian dynasty of emperors. The name Colosseum first appeared in 1000 AD and it referred to a huge statue, a colossus, of a former emperor which stood outside the amphitheater.
- People often refer to Rome as “The City of Eternity”, because of ancient buildings which remained to this day, and “Caput Mundi” (“The Capital of the World”, because of the impressive history of the Roman Empire as a world-leading power back in ancient times.
- In Rome, you can visit a museum dedicated to pasta only!
- “All roads lead to Rome” is a popular proverb which was invented when the Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles in the early 4th century.
- The first shopping mall was built in Rome between 107 and 110 AD by Emperor Trajan.
- When you visit Rome you will notice that all over the city there is a symbol consisted of an eagle and four letters SPQR. This abbreviation stands for “Senatus Populusque Romanus” which means “The Senate and the people of Rome” referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic.
- Rome is the home of world’s smallest state located completely within the city – Vatican City. The Vatican museum is the world’s largest museum complex in the world consisted of 1000 museums. On top of that, St. Peter’s Basilica inside Vatican City is the largest church ever built, while the Sistine Chapel is the most popular chapel in the world where people could admire the Michelangelo’s work of High Renaissance Art painted between 1508 and 1512.
- The popular Spanish Steps in Rome are not really Spanish, but rather half French and half Italian. They were funded by a French diplomat, Etienne Gueffier, while they were crafted by two Italian architects, Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi. The reason why everyone knows them as Spanish is because the Spanish Embassy took place at their base at the time when they were constructed.
- Rome was not always the capital of Italy, In fact, it became its capital in 1870, taking the title from Florence.
- Rome was built on 7 hills: Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal and all of them rise up on the east bank of the river Tiber!
- There is an estimate of 180.00 free-living cats in Rome! And not only that, in Rome cats and their freedom is protected by the law, allowing them to freely enjoy the city while there are organizations feeding and taking care of them.
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