The ancient Roman empire laid the foundation for the culture, literature, arts, architecture, of future Western civilizations. The Italian capital is the third most populous city in the European Union and attracts millions of visitors worldwide. If you are planning to stopover in Rome (the eternal city), here are some interesting facts about Rome. If you're seeing more of the country, check out these interesting facts about Italy.
General Facts About Italy
1. Rome has a history of more than 2,800 years
Even though there is archaeological evidence of human occupation about 14,000 years ago, Roman mythology dates Rome's founding around 753 BC. Rome started as a kingdom up until it became a democratic society in 509 BC. The republic kept expanding by occupying various Mediterranean regions and became an empire in 27 BC. To many, Rome's success story started from here onwards. After the decline of the empire, Rome fell under the control of the Papacy. Rome then became the capital of Italy after the unification in 1871.
2. Two brothers founded Rome
As for Roman mythology, Romulus, who is the son of the god of Mars, was the founder of Rome. The story goes that Romulus and his twin brother Remus were raised by a she-wolf before being found by a shepherd. After going up with the shepherd, Remus was captured by an evil king - Remus managed find supporters to save his brother and kill the evil king. With the king dead they were offered land to build a new city but could decide on where, this argument grew until Romulus killed Remus, and finished building his city after his name - Rome
Geographical Facts About Italy
3. Rome has an entire country enclaved inside
One of the most fascinating facts about Rome is a separate country inside its borders. Vatican City is the Catholic Church's capital and the home to the Pope, which operates as an independent country since 1929. The country is an enclave within Rome and home to St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel which are the most significant Catholic churches. Since the city is small and lacks an economy the Vatican City main sources of income are Donations of the faithful, sale of postage stamps and souvenirs and admission fees to museums.
Interesting Italy Facts
4. You can drink straight from the city's fountains
Rome has about 2,000 fountains across that showcase the extraordinary engineering of imperial Rome. Even having been so old it is still safe to drink from these fountains. One of the main reasons for the clean water is that the water comes straight from surrounding mountains.
5. Colosseum is the largest standing amphitheatre in the world
It is hard to overlook Colosseum when it comes to Rome. The iconic symbol of imperial Rome is one of the seven wonders of the world. The construction began around 70 AD and took about ten years to complete. The Colosseum can hold about 50,000 to 80,000 spectators at various points of its history. Gladiator fights, animal hunts, and executions were the main events hosted to please Roman citizens.
6. Trevi Fountain collects more than $1 million worth of coins each year
Trevi fountain is arguably the most famous among the visitors out of Rome's thousands of fountains. Built-in 1762, the fountain is a work of Italian architect Nicola Salvi. Visitors believe throwing a coin using the right hand over the left shoulder will help them find true love. In 2016, visitors threw an estimate of $ 1.5 million worth of coins to the fountain which makes it one of the most interesting facts about Rome. The local authority uses this money for charity and development projects in the city.
7. Italy’s high-end fashion brands are funding to restore Roman monuments
It is no secret that Rome needs a large investment to restore and preserve its sheer number of monuments. The costs frequently exceed state budgets and ticket sales. Fortunately, several Italian high-end fashion brands agreed to fund these restoration projects. One such project was a renovation project of Colosseum, primarily funded by “Tod’s” luxury footwear company.
8. Trapizzino is the most loved street food in Rome
Italian cuisine is no shortage of tasty foods. But in Rome, a hybrid between Pizza and Sandwich, called Trapizzino, is the most popular. Even though it's a combination of Sandwich and Pizza, the toppings are different than either staple.. Roman Pizza chef Stefano Callegari invented this street food, and now about 30 restaurants are serving Trapizzino in Rome.
9. Cats are legally allowed to roam in the city
There is a law in Rome, allowing cats to live in the city without disturbances, this attitude towards cats has existed since ancient times as it was understood that they are extremely helpful in preventing diseases by keeping the city’s rodent population down. Because of this law Rome has around 300,000 stray cats roaming its streets. The most famous cat haven is at The Torre Argentina plaza which houses a cat sanctuary. The plaza is also famous for being the site where Julius Caesar’s assassination happened.
10. Two Roman soccer clubs have a fierce rivalry between them
The city's two biggest soccer clubs, S.S. Lazio and A.S. Roma, have a hotly contested rivalry. Known as the Derby Della Capitale, it is common to see violence between fans of both clubs. Lazio represents the upper-class of the city, and Roma represents the working-class. So, either club's ambition is to defeat the other for local bragging rights.