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30 Interesting Facts about Rome, Italy

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Date: 2014-09-09 19:37:30

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Author: Samuel Heenan

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1.Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus. Roman legend says that Romulus had a twin brother called Remus. As babies they were abandoned in the area which later became Rome. A she-wolf found and raised them, but when they grew up Romulus fought and killed Remus and became the first ruler of Rome!

2.The population of the city of Rome is around 2.7 million. The entire metropolitan area of Rome has an estimated 3.7 million people.

3.By the early fourth century, the Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles throughout the empire. Each Roman mile was about 1,000 paces (about 4,800 feet) and was marked by a milestone. Hence the proverb "All roads lead to Rome."

4.The word “palace” comes from the Palatine Hill, where Augustus established the emperors’ tradition of building their palaces.

5.Every night at the Trevi Fountain about 3,000 Euros are swept up from the bottom of the basin. The money is donated to Caritas, a catholic charity, who uses the money to provide services for needy families in Rome.

6.Modern Rome has 280 fountains and more than 900 churches.

7.In Ancient Rome only free-born Roman men were allowed to wear togas, which was a sign of Roman citizenship. The Roman women wore stolas, which were a female toga version made from linen.

8.Rome is 4,336 m (14,453 ft) above sea level and located inland about 27 kilometers (17 miles) from the Tyrrhenian Sea.

9.Rome is known as the "Eternal city" and also "Caput Mundi," coming from Latin and meaning capital of the world.

10.Rome’s mascot is a she-wolf that cared for the brothers Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.

11.Trajan’s Column in Rome is 128 feet high. The sculptural frieze that wraps around the column is approximately 655 feet in length.

12.Rome became the capital city of a unified Italy in 1870 after taking the title from Florence.

13.Concrete was a Roman invention used on many structures such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which are still standing today thanks to the development of Roman cement and concrete. The Romans first began building with concrete over 2,100 years ago and used it throughout the Mediterranean basin in everything from aqueducts and buildings to bridges and monuments.

14.SPQR stands for "Senatus Populusque Romanus" and means "The senate and the people of Rome." The symbol is still seen all over the city today.

15.When the Roman Empire reached its territorial peak in 117 AD it spanned 2.5 million square miles.

16.The Greeks thought that when non-Greeks spoke, they were mumbling words that sounded like an indeterminate “barbar,” which led to the Roman word “barbarian.”

17.There is a law in Rome that allows cats to live without disruption in the place where they were born. If you look carefully, you will see hundreds of wild cats climbing the walls of the Colosseum, and sleeping among the ruins of the Forum. At the Largo de Torre de Argentina you can see a cat sanctuary amongst the ruins of four Republican temples.

18.In Ancient Rome it was common for people to vomit between meals so they could eat more.

19.Roman husbands kissed their wives on the mouth at the end of the day, but their motives were not at all romantic — they were checking their spouses’ breath to see if they had been sitting around drinking wine all day.

20.Rome was built on the seven hills, a term coined to describe the Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, Aventine and Palatine hills surrounding the old community.

21.Women in ancient Rome dyed their hair with goat fat and beech wood ashes. Red and blond were the most popular colors.

22.At about 142 feet in diameter, the dome of the Pantheon in Rome is bigger even than the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. It’s also completely unreinforced which makes it the single largest unreinforced, concrete dome in the entire world.

23.It is thought that over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the battles at the Colosseum. The last gladiatorial fights took place in 435 AD.

 It is thought that over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the Colosseum hosted people vs. beast games. - See more at: http://www.localnomad.com/en/blog/2013/10/01/10-interesting-facts-about-the-colosseum-in-rome/#sthash.Y3V3sEyl.dpuf

24.Like most Romans, the Emperor Augustus was extremely superstitious. He always put on his right shoe first because he believed that left was unlucky. Strangely, the Latin word for ‘left’ was ‘sinister!’

25. Rome built the first-ever shopping mall between 107 and 110 AD! It was built by Emperor Trajan in Rome. The Trajan's Market, or Mercati di Traiano in Italian, were on multi levels and sold a wide range of goods and grocery items.

26.Rome attracted 12.6 million tourists in 2013 with the Vatican Museums welcoming 5.5 million and the Colosseum 5.1 million visitors.

27.Julius Ceaser was the one who introduced the modern 12 month calendar. Before that Lunar or Arabic calendars were used. It was known as the Julian calendar and was introduced in 46 BC.

28.Rome covers 1,285 km2, or 580 square miles, with 98% of the population Roman Catholic.

29.The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums has the same dimensions, as described in the Old Testament, as the Temple of Solomon on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

30.Contrary to legend, Julius Caesar was not killed in the Roman Senate, but in the lobby of a theatre built by Pompey the Great more than 2,000 years ago, which can be found today at Largo di Torre Argentina.

For more information and to book a tour during your stay in the Eternal city: Book a Tour Here

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