The capital of Italy is a wonderful destination. Millions of people travel there every year to enjoy all the culture, history and entertainment options that it offers. In case you’re thinking of going, we have prepared a list of facts about Rome so you can start doing some research and planning ahead! There are thousands of facts about Rome worth knowing, since the city is the cradle of Western civilisation, so we have selected a few ones that besides giving you some knowledge will also be of use when you are walking around its streets.
Facts about Rome you probably didn’t know
Whoever your travel companion is when you make it to the Italian capital, they will admire your knowledge when you explain these interesting facts about Rome:
- A monumental city. The capital of Italy has lots to offer to tourists and travellers… But let’s talk facts about Rome, in numbers: there are around 280 fountains… and more than 900 churches!
- The third Pantheon. One of the facts about Rome that many people don’t know is that the Pantheon is the Roman monument better preserved in the city… But the one we can visit is not the original one! Don’t worry, it’s still from Roman times – it was built in 125 AC. But there were two other Pantheons that were built before: the first one burned down, and the second one burned down as well! Another of the facts about Rome and the Pantheon is that it has the biggest dome in the city: it’s even larger than the one in St. Peter’s basilica in Vatican City!
- Charity wishes. Whether you have been there yet or not, one of the facts about Rome pretty much everybody knows is the ritual of throwing a coin to the water of the Fontana di Trevi while asking for a wish. But did you know that all that money is donated to Caritas, a charity that helps Roman families in need? Every night, around 3.000 euros are taken from the fountain! We don’t know if your wish will become true, but you will be doing some good with it.
- Food for thought. If you’re a food enthusiast, we probably won’t have to say much to convince you to travel to Italy, but one of the fun facts about Rome is that in the capital of Italy, besides eating yummy food, you can also learn lots about it! Rome is also the home of the National Museum of Pasta.
- A paradise for cat lovers. One of the facts about Rome that may surprise you is that it’s a city full of cats: you can see them climbing, sleeping and just being cats everywhere and there is a reason for that: there is a law that protects them and their freedom to enjoy the city, and there are organisations who help feed them. There’s an estimate of 180.000 free cats living in Rome!
Facts about Rome: A bit of history
Of course, the facts about Rome also come with lots of information about the city’s magnificent history. Check them out!
- Romulus and Remus, the first of all the facts about Rome. According to the legend that explains the foundation of Rome, twin brothers Romulus and Remus were abandoned in what Rome is today and raised by a she-wolf. Later on, Romulus and Remus disagreed on where to form the city and how to call it. Romulus ended up killing his brother and founding Rome. You can see the original statue of the Capitoline wolf in the Capitoline Museums.
- A Colossal theatre. The Coliseum, the main tourist attraction in the city, tells us many facts about Rome itself – and about Ancient Rome! For instance, did you know that there were up to 20 different kinds of gladiators? Besides, there were fights with a variety of exotic animals, such as lions, crocodiles and ostriches, and sometimes they removed the wooden floors and filled it with water to celebrate naval battles.
- The capital of Italy… Today. The most obvious of all the facts about Rome is that it was the capital of the Roman Empire, as well as the capital of Italy today. But it only became so after the unification of the country, in 1871. Before that, the capital of a reduced Italy was Florence.
- A city of hills… Another of the historical facts about Rome is that it was founded on seven hills located east from the river Tiber, known as the Seven Hills of Rome. They are strongly related to Roman mythology. The legend says that Romulus founded Rome on the Palatine Hill, and then small settlements occupied the other six: the Capitoline Hill, the Esquiline Hill, the Aventine Hill, the Quirinal Hill, The Viminal Hill and the Aventine Hill. All those settlements reorganised and formed the city of Rome.
- And of names! Rome is also known as the Eternal City, and many people consider it to be the City of Love – a title shared with cities like Paris or Venice. Another of its names is the Latin Caput Mundi, which means ‘the capital of the world”.
What did you think about these facts about Rome? It’s a bit to start, but the capital of Italy is a never-ending source of knowledge. Whenever you visit it, you’ll go back home knowing many more!