61 Facts About Rome That Might Make You Pack Your Bag

Aryan Khanna
Mar 20, 2023 By Aryan Khanna
Originally Published on Mar 20, 2023
Fact-checked by Dolly Chhatwani
Sunrise view of Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

Rome, or as it is also known, Ancient Rome, is one of the oldest cities in the world, having stood the test of time since 753 BC.

In the modern day, Rome is the capital of the European country, Italy, and the third most populous city in the entire European Union. While people have studied Ancient Rome in their history books, modern Rome is equally impressive with its fountains, monuments, churches, and other attractions.

The smallest country in the world, Vatican City, is located within the boundaries of the city of Rome. Owing to the geographical location of Rome, it is often referred to as the 'City of Seven Hills'.

At the same time, Rome is nicknamed 'The Eternal City', the phrase first used by Albius Tibullus, a Roman poet in the first century BC. Ranging from the Colosseum to St. Peter's, Rome attracts millions of tourists annually.

People traveling to this city are fascinated by the deep-lying history of the ancient city's monuments and churches.

At the same time, the Roman culture present in the modern city till date and its traditional food offers a surreal experience to all tourists. In modern Italy, besides being recognized as the ancient Eternal City, Rome has also developed as the center of design and fashion.

Renowned fashion houses such as Fendi are initially located in this city. Scroll down to learn more such interesting Rome facts throwing light on both Ancient Rome as well as the modern-day Italian city of Rome.

History of Rome

Rome is known to be one of the oldest cities in the world, with evidence from human settlement being found as early as 14,000 years ago. Archeological surveys have discovered stone weapons and stone tools, talking leaps and bounds about the city's age.

  • The legendary King Romulus is believed to be the founder of the city of Rome in 753 BC, although several reports state that there was human settlement in that area from earlier.
  • King Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, are believed to have been raised by a she-wolf after the brothers were found abandoned in the Tiber river.
  • While Rome became the capital city of Italy in 1861, the city is a lot older than the country.
  • Rome was home to the famed Roman Empire, which eventually fell through and was divided into multiple states.
  • In Ancient Rome, only the free men were allowed to wear togas as it reflected their Roman citizenship.
  • The Roman Colosseum is arguably the most famous monument of Rome, but it has experienced some infamous bloodshed in the past, which was brought to an end in 435 AD.
  • In Ancient Rome, the Roman Gladiators were treated as celebrities, but contrary to several stories and claims, they never, in fact, fought to the death.
  • From 37 AD to 41 AD, Ancient Rome was ruled by the infamous Emperor Gaius Caligula. He is remembered for his insane activities as a ruler, which included feeding prisoners to wild animals, talking with the moon, granting his horse a senator, and others.
  • The Ancient Romans had a very short life expectancy; they usually lived only until their twenties or, maximum, thirties.
  • During Ancient Rome, the city's women used goat fat and beechwood ashes to dye their hair blonde or red.
  • The famous Latin phrase 'Caput Mundi' refers to the city of Rome. It commonly translates into 'Capital of the World'. It was awarded this title owing to the city's extensive growth over the years.
  • It is believed that during the peak of the Roman empire, 29 military highways began from Rome.
  • The Romans are estimated to have built paved highways of around 50000 mi (80000 km). It was believed to be an integral part of the success of the Roman army.
  • The Palatine Hill of the city of Rome is often recognized as 'the first nucleus of the Roman Empire'.
  • During the golden age of the Roman Empire, people could never imagine the collapse of this civilization and thus named it 'The Eternal City,' but it did eventually fall, breaking down into multiple cities and states.
  • During the Great Fire of Rome, which destroyed the city of Rome, the then-Roman Emperor Nero was known to have played the fiddle as the city was reduced to ashes.
  • This ancient Roman Emperor Nero ruled the city from 54 AD to 68 AD.
  • Trajan's Market was known to be the first shopping mall in the world, built in 107 AD by the then-Roman Emperor Trajan.
  • It was a multi-storied shopping mall with around 150 different stores selling all kinds of items, from groceries to clothing.
  • The La Sapienza University of Rome is believed to be one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded in 1303 and has produced several Nobel Prize winners over the years.
  • The Colosseum, arguably the largest attraction of the city of Rome, was earlier recognized as the Flavian Amphitheater and later named the Colosseum.

Geography & Climate

The city of Rome is located in the central part of Italy near the river Tiber. In the current scenario, the city falls under the Lazio region of Italy.

  • During earlier times, the Rome of the Kings was built on seven hills, including the Palatine Hill, the Caelian Hill, the Viminal Hill, the Aventine Hill, the Quirinal Hill, the Esquiline Hill, and the Capitoline Hill.
  • While the center of the city of Rome is at a distance of 15 mi (24 km) from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the city's boundaries extend till its shore.
  • Central Rome ranges from 43 ft (13 m) above sea level to around 456 ft (139 m) above sea level.
  • The city of Rome is known to experience a Mediterranean climate where the summers are hot and dry, and the winters are mild and humid.
  • December, January, and February comprise the coldest months of Rome, with the mean temperatures falling as low as 46 F (8 C).
  • Romans are known to be the first in the world who used concrete. The concrete they used for construction purposes comprised a mixture of volcanic dust mixed with seawater, rock pieces, and lime.

Religion & Ethnic Groups

Since the Middle Ages, the city of Rome has established itself as a significant Christian pilgrimage. At the same time, several ethnic groups spread across the world are believed to have originated from this city.

  • During ancient times, the Romans greatly valued the blood of Gladiators and used it for treating epilepsy and in the form of fertility treatment.
  • Since time immemorial, the she-wolf has been recognized as Rome's symbol. The Capitoline City portrays the same, showing Rome's mythical founders, Remus and Romulus.
  • In Ancient Rome, people celebrated a festival called Saturnalia, where the masters and slaves switched places for the event's duration. During the festival, the slaves did not do any work while their masters served them.
  • This festival was believed to have been held in honor of Saturn, the agricultural God.
  • In Ancient Rome, it was treason for an ordinary man to wear the purple color. This color was known to reflect wealth, power, royalty, and status and could only be worn by senators or the emperor.
  • While currently, the population of Rome is around 2.8 million, it was the first city in the world to cross the population of one million.
  • Rome is also credited for bringing the first legal system to the world. The city's first laws were written in the fifth century BC and were recognized as the Twelve Tables.
  • In the modern world, the Romans are often stereotyped as fans of pizza and pasta, but during the earlier days, they enjoyed other snacks as well, including garum sauce, sea urchins, stuffed dormice, and others.

Cityscape: Architecture, Parks & Garden, Fountains, Statue

The city of Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and attracts millions of tourists annually. The monuments, fountains, and gardens in this city provide a glimpse of what it was like living in Ancient Rome.

  • The city of Rome is home to the most Christian churches in the world, 900. Of these 900 churches, the Basilica di Santa Maria located in Trastevere, is known to be the oldest of all.
  • While visiting Rome, tourists often find a lot of cats walking on the Colosseum walls and in several other parts of the city. This is due to a Roman law under which cats are allowed to live where they are born, with no interference whatsoever.
  • The Trevi Fountain is one of the biggest attractions in Rome. Every night around 3,000 euros are collected from the Trevi Fountain in coins, and the amount is donated to Caritas, a catholic charity.
  • When people visit Rome, they usually see the Vatican City as well, the smallest country in the world, located within the city of Rome. According to the Catholic Church, the largest church in the world, St. Peter's Basilica, has been built on Saint Peter's burial site.
  • During ancient times, the Colosseum was a theater of entertainment that hosted gladiator battles, staged naval battles, executions, and hunts.
  • Sadly, over a million wild animals and around 400,000 humans are believed to have taken their last breath here.
  • The city of Rome is home to the unique Pasta museum. The Pasta Museum, or the National Museum of Pasta, hosts several varieties of pasta in different rooms.
  • When it comes to the area covered by the city, the Comune of Rome is known to be spread across an area of 496 sq mi (1285 sq km).
  • St. Peter's Basilica happens to be the tallest building in Rome, with a height of 446 ft (136 m). According to Roman law, no building in the city can be taller than this.
  • The city of Rome is known to have more obelisks than Egypt. It has a total of 13 obelisks.
  • Following the defeat of Anthony and Cleopatra, Egypt came under the rule of Rome, and the Romans acquired around 50 obelisks from Egypt.
  • The Pantheon, one of the most famous monuments of Rome, was built in 125 AD. It was built as a Roman temple and is used till date as a Catholic Church.
  • One of the lesser-known facts about the city of Rome is that there is a secret tunnel called 'Passetto del Borgo' that runs from the Vatican City to the nearby Castel Sant’Angelo.
  • Pope Clement VII used this passage to escape during the siege of Rome in 1527.
  • The Roman Forum, which is recognized as the prime square of the modern city of Rome, was also the center point of Ancient Rome.
  • This area was earlier used for various public events, including criminal trials, elections, public speeches, and business meetings.
  • As time passed by, several buildings were built in this area, such as the Temple of Saturn and the Senate House.
Famous Saint Peter's Square in Vatican and aerial view of the city.

Other Fun Facts

  • The city of Rome is unlike any other, and since its inception, it has amused and astonished people with some of its practices.
  • While the ancient Romans were quite popular for their Gods, they had some unusual Gods too, such as the sewer Goddess, Cloacina, the God of excretion, Stercutius, and others.
  • Rome is well recognized for its traditional food, but during the earlier days, Romans would often force themselves to throw up in between meals so that they could eat more.
  • The emblematic symbol 'SPQR' is seen on the Roman currency, its monuments, and various other places. It refers to 'Senātus Populusque Rōmānus', which translates as 'The Roman Senate and People'.
  • The English word 'Palace' is believed to have been derived from the ancient Rome place Palatine Hill.
  • Unlike today where a day comprises 24 hours, the Ancient Romans divide their days into 12 hours.
  • During the earlier times, the Romans believed that those who were born left-handed were unlucky.
  • The original city of Rome is now believed to be buried under the modern city, and only 10% of the old city is known to have been excavated till date.

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Written by Aryan Khanna

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Aryan Khanna picture

Aryan KhannaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.

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Fact-checked by Dolly Chhatwani

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Literature

Dolly Chhatwani picture

Dolly ChhatwaniBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Literature

A skilled professional-client manager, Dolly brings a wealth of experience to any team. Holding a Master's in English Literature, she has worked in various customer relations and operations management roles throughout her career. With a degree in both English and Psychology, she is passionate about promoting mental health. Dolly is an avid reader, particularly of classic literature, and enjoys writing book reviews. Additionally, she maintains a food blog and is active on social media.

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