If you enjoy trivia and want to know some interesting facts about Rome, the stunning capital city of Italy, you are in the right place. The eternal city has many accolades to its credit that seem endless, but it is definitely one of the most famous cities in Europe, right to next to London and Paris.

But unlike the other two, Rome has a glorious past that dates to over 2800 years, which makes it truly fascinating. Uncovering the life in ancient Rome facts or Roman empire facts on history is like opening the lock of a treasure house, and what has been discovered is astounding, quirky and even funny to say the least.

Without much ado, get started with a hot Cappucino to be mind-blown with these juicy facts about Rome, including some giggle-inducing fun facts of Rome and get transported in time with the Roman culture facts.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ROME

Let’s begin some of the most interesting facts about Rome before unearthing some jaw-dropping Rome empire facts.

Rome is the most visited city in Italy

The most visited city in Italy is the capital city Rome, which is visited by over 10 million tourists every year. The next most visited city is Milan, and the city of canals and Gondolas Venice comes third.

Rome is also the third most visited city in Europe with London being the topmost and Paris coming in second. And it is the 16th-most visited city in the world.

Rome is older than Italy

This must be one of the most interesting facts about Rome. Did you know that what we know today as the capital of Italy didn’t belong to the country at all? Yes, until 1870, Rome was not a part of the country. And Rome is older than Italy by over 2600 years.

The Italy that we have today was in fact divided into many empires, with each region having their distinct cultures, traditions and even religion. Most of these were constantly at war with one another at any point, making even a unification idea remotely possible.

facts about Rome

It was only at the end of the 19th century, in 1870 to be precise that Rome was annexed, which was until then a part of Florence.

The Caput Mundi

One of the interesting facts about Rome is the many nicknames the city has got. One of them is the Latin words ‘Caput Mundi’ which translates to the Capital of the World, owing to the vast size, prosperity and population.

Rome is the city with the most churches

Rome is home to over 900 churches, the most number of Christian Cathedrals in any city in the world. Isn’t it an amazing fact about Rome?

Rome is the city of fountains

As soon as you starting exploring Rome, one of the first things you will notice are the many fountains. Did you one of the interesting Rome facts?

Rome is also called the city of fountains because there are over 2000 fountains scattered over the city. Many of them date back to prehistoric times through the Renaissance period, which is about a history of 2000 years.

facts about Rome

Encompassing the giant monumental fountains of Trevi and Quattro Fiumi, they were not just built for decorative purposes. The earliest fountains were built to carry water from outside of the city via the aqueducts during the ancient Roman Empire

They went into ruins with the decline of the empire and were renewed in the 15th-century to become the object of decorations, with the creation of magnificent sculpted marble fountains depicting Rome’s rich culture and history.

The legend of the Trevi fountain

Among the most iconic landmarks in Italy is the beautiful Trevi fountain, which attracts thousands of visitors every day. The legend of the Trevi fountain is that if you want to ensure a visit to Rome again, you have to through a coin into the fountain from the right hand over the left shoulder. 

Rome facts

Well, who doesn’t coming back to Rome? That’s the reason you will find a treasure of coins at the bottom of the fountain.

Do you know? It is estimated that around 5,000 to 8000 Euros are collected in the fountain every day. This money is donated to a catholic charity, which uses this money to help families in need in the city.

No need to pay for drinking water

Thanks to these fountains at every corner, you don’t have to spend any money on buying water when you are in Rome. It is legal to fill your bottle from one of the fountains.

Rome interesting facts

Home to the largest university in Europe

The city is home to the largest university in Europe that is also the second-largest in the world. La Sapienza University considered one of the most prestigious educational institutions, has many feathers in its cap. 

Also called the University of Rome, the institution has given many famous scientists, politicians and Nobel prize laureates to the world.

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The word Palace was coined in Rome

The word Palace was first ever used in Rome, and it originates from the name Palatine hill, the hill where the ancient Rome city was founded and one of the seven hills of the city.

Palatine hill became the centre of power gradually as the city expanded with the neighbourhood becoming the home to administrative buildings and royal residences of senators and emperors. 

Emperor Augustus started the tradition of constructing palaces or royal residences on the Palatine hill.

This led eventually for the place to be called Palatine, from the word in Latin Palatium, which translates to a place of strength and power. From this word, the English word Palace was born.

First to use concrete

While delving into the lives of the people in the old times, there are many surprising facts about Romans. The empire was noted for brilliant philosophers, architects, artists and people talented in many spheres inventing many things.

One of the notable areas that depict the efficiency of this period is in architecture and construction. It is believed that the Romans invented concrete, one of the major contributions to humankind.

One of the evidence of the use of concrete is in Pantheon, which holds the record for the world’s largest reinforced concrete dome, over 2000 years after its building.

facts about Rome

The same goes for many structures that were built during this time, with their strength to last this long to the powerful concrete.

I’d highly recommend you to join this guided tour to learn more about things about this monument and the glory of Rome.

The Romans are also to be credited for modern-day plumbing.

Don’t forget to be in the city on its birthday

One of the fascinating facts about Rome is about its birthday, which is in spring in the third week of April. It is one of the best times to visit the city. 

On April 21st, which is usually the date for Rome’s birthday, the sun rays entirely enter through the dome’s oculus at noon in Pantheon, which fills the monument with light.

During the ancient Roman period, emperors would make a dramatic and a grand entrance imitating a summon from the Roman God of Sun Apollo to kick-start the birthday celebrations.

The best place for coffee lovers

One of the many facts about Italy is how famous it is for coffee. And what better place than the beautiful capital dotted with cute cafes to try out your favourite coffee?

Cappuccino is the favorite among the locals, and you will probably the best version of this in most parts of the city! But there are some coffee traditions like no Cappuccino is served after 11 AM or Espresso is the only coffee you can find if you want to have one after dinner.

On your Rome trip, you should book this coffee tasting tour where you will also get to taste the other love of the Italians – Gelato. This is the perfect tour if you love coffee or Icecream or both to taste the most delicious you will have.

Rome is home to an ancient lie detector

There is a sculpture that was believed to be a lie detector. Yes, one of the many quirky facts about Rome! 

The Bocca della Verità or The Mouth of Truth is an ancient marble sculpture, in the form of a disk that bears the shape of a human face with its mouth open

facts about Rome

The legend stated that this was a lie detector and worked like this – A man would have to put his hand inside its mouth, and if he did tell a lie when questioned, the sculpture would bite his hand.

FUN FACTS ABOUT ROME

Here are some of the most fun facts about Rome that might bring some giggle. Some of these things about the city might be surprising, but they are true.

Cats are special in Rome

One of the most fun facts about Rome is the right of cats. Cats are special beings in the city, and have legal rights granted to them!

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

According to one of the Roman laws, if you find five cats living together, you cannot shoo them, which means they are free to loiter and occupy any place, including the ruins.

Rome is the land of cats

Guess that these creatures know their rights and are quite pleased with the city. Because there are over three hundred thousand cats in Rome.

And this population is a recognized part of Rome’s bio heritage. Also, it is illegal to kill a cat in Italy.

Ancient Roman women used hair colour

The women of Rome were known for fashion and elegance, and one of their favourites style statements were the use of hair colour.

Women in Rome began dying their hair colour after noticing other women from different regions that had different hair colour than them as the empire expanded.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

They prepared dye using unique natural elements like goat fat, leeches and the ashes of the beechwood.

There was even a law for prostitutes in Rome stating that they had to mandatorily dye their hand blond to be recognized easily. Other women usually went for black and red colours.

Italy’s first McDonald was opened in Rome

Although this may not come as a surprise given that it is the capital city, the country’s first venue for McDonald’s was Rome, where they opened their first shop in 1968 close to Spanish steps despite the strong opposition against the introduction of fast food joints.

The shop was modelled after the Renaissance style of architecture with grand interiors – utterly different from their regular shops with modern decor.

Did you know? When constructing another shop at Frattocchie in 2014, the team stumbled on an ancient Roman road that was accidentally unearthed.

Scooters over Cars, please

Italians may be known for their love of cars, it is no surprise in Rome that the iconic Vespas are still their favorites. 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

One of the colourful facts about Rome that you can notice is these bright-coloured Vespas driven by the Romans effortlessly through the narrow streets of the city – one of the unusual things and not possible to see in other cities of Europe.

Apart from being a perfect fit for navigating the traffic, the exorbitant petrol prices and taxes are other reasons why the people of Rome love their Vespas over cars.

The Spanish steps in Rome

One of the most famous monuments in Rome are the Spanish steps, but the name is an example of a perfect mismatch. But the story behind the inception of this name is one of the fun facts about Rome.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

An Italian architect designed the Spanish steps at the request of a French diplomat that wanted a path from Trinità dei Monti church to Piazza di Spagna in the 18th century.

So the name must have at least been French steps, but this never happened. However, the name Spanish steps stuck as the Spanish embassy’s piazza was located at their exit.

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Romans used animal urine to brush their teeth

One of the facts about Rome that doesn’t sound good though is that the ancient Roman people used animal and sometimes human urine too to brush their teeth, preferrable as a mouth wash.

It is mentioned in the medical documentary book De Medicina written by Aulus Cornelius, Celsus that people in the Roman empire extracted the ammonia from the urine to brush and also to wash their clothes or togas.

ANCIENT ROME FACTS

We all must have had come across the glory, richness and the ethereal beauty massive Roman empire in our schools.

After a few modern facts about Rome, below are some of the roman empire facts and Rome history facts, including even some weird facts about ancient Rome.

The legend of the mighty Roman empire, its rulers and the richness is known to us, but there are plenty of things that are yet to be discovered. This ancient Rome trivia will let you know somethings so that you can appreciate the city more.

The Roman Empire is one of the oldest in the world

Let’s begin with the interesting facts about the founding of Rome

One of my favourite facts about Rome is how old is the city simply is. The city was established in 753 BC by Romulus, although the exact year is still debated. 

Which means that Rome is about 2800 years old, making it one of the earliest known empires in the world.

The city was found by Romulus in 753 BC on the Palatine Hill. The Roman legend says that Romulus had a brother named Remus. Both were abandoned as babies and were raised by a she-wolf. 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

Both brothers wanted to build a city, but couldn’t settle on a name leading to a brutal fight. 

Romulus killed his brother, established the city named after him, becoming the first emperor that grew in leaps in bounds in the next many centuries.

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Rome – The Eternal City

Among the many nicknames the city has, probably the most famous is the ‘Eternal City.’ And the reason behind this one of the best facts about Rome.

Rome was one of the most powerful empires in Europe and the world for a long time. The city earned the nickname of the Eternal city first when the poet Tibullus made the first direct reference in the 1st century BC. 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

Because despite witnessing many downs and the ups, the city bounced back, because of which Rome got the name eternal city as due to the belief that no matter what, the city will continue to live.

Ancient Rome had the best water management system

As mentioned above, the reason for the creation of so many fountains initially was a plan and a part of an excellent water supply system in the ancient Roman empire. 

The Romans were one of the very few, advanced-engineers to build a sound system, which involved creating many aqueducts, a network of many channels and bridges. 

These carried water for public baths, which were abundant throughout the empire and also the toilets.

Rome – The City of seven hills

One of the interesting facts about Rome that not many knows is that it is called the city of seven hills. 

Although the earliest settlements in the city are found to have happened on the Palatine hill, there are six other hills making the ground for settlements, which include the Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Quirinal, Viminal and Capitoline. 

The rich and the flourishing Roman empire

A few hundred years after its founding, the Roman Empire attained its first of the many zeniths around 117 AD. 

During this time, the kingdom of Rome included most of the current day Europe from the present countries in the UK in the west to all the way to modern Turkey in the east, and to parts of North Africa in the south.

More than 90% of Ancient Rome is still unexcavated

One of the most fascinating facts about Rome is that what we see today that are ancient Roman monuments is just the tips of the icebergs. Because more than 90% of the ruins are buried under the modern-day Rome. 

The ancient Rome is buried 30 feet deep from the present street levels. Imagining it sounds fascinating, isn’t it? 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

Most of the past of Rome remains a mystery, despite the relentless work of archaeologists, partly due to the history spanning for over 2800 years and the challenges along the way. 

Also, since the modern Rome is thriving on top of these ruins, it will not be possible to excavate thanks to the buildings, roads and homes, which means we’ll probably never get to dig for the past completely.

FACTS ABOUT ROME – LIFE IN ANCIENT ROME

Ancient Rome was more populated

The ancient city of Rome was huge and confined within the fortified walls, but it was nearly over thirty times more populated than the current day Rome.

Rome was the first city to reach 1 million population

Thanks to the growing population, Rome became the first city in the world to reach a population of over one million, in as early as 133 BC, which was a feat considering any other place in Europe which did not reach these figures until late 19th-century.

All roads lead to Rome or maybe not

While the popular saying is that all roads lead to Rome, there is one of the interesting facts about Rome behind this line. According to Romans, all roads rather lead one out of the city and not to the city itself. 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

And the fact is backed by this thing where the road system in the city was designed this way, that is all the roads were constructed in ways to make the soldiers lead out of the city easily in times of wars. 

This is the reason why important roads like the one from the Milliarium Aureum or the Golden milestone to the Forum built by Augustus were all constructed to enable easy moving out of the city for troops.

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An efficient Road system and excellent engineering

Over 50,000 miles of roads were systemically planned and connected during the ancient Roman times dating around the 4th-century when the empire was at its zenith, one even connecting London to Egypt. 

They had a unique measurement system with one mile equivalent to 1000 paces, and a milestone was set at the end of every mile. 

The rapid constructions of roads led to the prosperity and growth of the economy as the roads enable connectivity for more traders to network and trade.

The Roman empire had a powerful military 

Speaking of soldiers, one of the fascinating facts about Rome is the capability and efficiency of the military forces. At times of need and wars, the Roman army would cover about 50 km on foot on a single day, thanks to the great roads.

FACTS ABOUT ROME EMPERORS

Below are some of the exciting facts of Rome emperors that are distinct and surprising.

Emperor Nero

One of the emperors in Roman empire noted for their weird tendencies was King Nero around whom there are many legends and folklores. 

One of them states that when the city caught fire, which went down in history as the Great Fire of Rome and the streets were burning to ashes, the emperor was singing and playing the violin.

Emperor Gaius Caligula

Moving to more facts about Rome emperors, another King that was infamous for his idiosyncrasies that were rather sometimes extreme was Emperor Gaius Caligula, the third Roman King after Augustus and Tiberius.

He committed incest with his sisters, had regular conversations with the moon, and sentenced prisoners to death in the Colosseum as meat for wild animals.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

But the most known tale is about his luxurious horse, Incitatus. It was probably one of the most pampered horses in history, which had a royal stable made of marble, decorated with precious jewels by the emperor, and even being allocated servants to be looked after.

It is believed that he was critical to senators about their inefficiency and often made cruel jokes to them about how his horse could do their job better.

The popular legend around this is that he made the horse one of his consuls and bought him to sessions and meetings.

Emperor Julius Caeser

Among the most famous Roman emperors is Julius Caesar, that was known for many accomplishments and his introduction of the concept of a sovereign government.

interesting facts about Rome

He was murdered by his senators led by his close friend Brutus that stabbed him 23 times, making it one of the most brutal deaths of an emperor in history. 

The event took place when Caesar arrived at the Senate, in the Theatre of Pompey at the backside.

Roman Emperor Domitian

Among some other strange Rome facts is this one about Emperor Domitian, who introduced a particular type of gladiator fights – between women. The female gladiator, known as gladiatrix was until his period was rare and the battles occurred very few times.

But during his tenure, he made female gladiators fight with each other semi-naked and even with dwarves.

Raphael’s tomb

Raffaello Sanzio, popular as Raphael, was one of the most famous Italian painters and architects during the time of the Renaissance. He is known for his genius works adorning the roofs of St Peters Basilica and Chigi Chapel.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

An interesting Rome fact is that upon his request, he was buried in the beautiful Pantheon.

The Land of Gods and Goddess

Similar to ancient Greece empire, one of the facts about Rome in the old times that is fascinating is their love and fear in worshipping the many Gods and Goddess.

A lot of superstition, legends, rituals and beliefs dominated the lives of the people, making them God-fearing. 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

There was a God or a Goddess for almost every occasion, and people prayed for each of them for protection and blessings, and there were rituals of sacrifices and offerings to please Gods, which was quite common. 

The God of love, the Goddess of power, the God of Ocean and so on, and there were hundreds of temples built throughout the empire which were visited by the people in large numbers.

Most Romans were landlords

Owning a plot was a common thing in the empire of Rome, something every citizen considered important and a part of their lives, because of which it was a norm that everyone owned at least a small plot in the city.

Forum – The venue for all public events

The centre of ancient Rome was the Forum, which was also a bustling market place for locals and foreign traders that sold many types of goods.

facts about Rome
The centre of Ancient Rome – Best facts about Rome

These traders moved to new buildings that got constructed as the city expanded, eventually becoming the centre of the city with the building of the Saturn Temple, Senate house and other monuments. 

From election campaigns to trials, the Forum was the main venue in Ancient Rome for many centuries.

FACTS ABOUT ROME MONUMENT COLOSSEUM

Moving to more interesting facts about Rome, the most visited monument in the city and the iconic landmark of Italy and Rome cannot be missed.

The Colosseum is one of the new seven wonders of the world

Do you know about this interesting Rome fact? The Colosseum, a massive amphitheatre built of stones is the most famous landmark in Rome. Constructed in 80 AD, today it is regarded as one of the seven new wonders in the world.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

The largest amphitheatre

Considered to be one of the most beautiful works of the Ancient Romans, this mammoth amphitheatre could host up to a hundred thousand spectators, an impressive feat considering it was accomplished over 2000 years ago. 

It was the venue for many sporting events and games, the most famous being the battles between Roman gladiators.

The original name was not Colosseum

The construction of this iconic structure was commissioned under the reign of Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD under his son Titus. It was named the Flavian Amphitheater as the emperor and his son was from the Flavian Dynasty.

Near the entrance of the amphitheatre was a colossal statue of former emperor Nero. And people began calling the place Colosseum because of this statue, and hence the name Colosseum stuck.

Gladiator fights and the Colosseum

Fights between gladiators were the most famous events that people were eager to witness, which filled the Colosseum completely. The gladiators were slaves of the Roman emperors, and the fights were for entertainment purposes. 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

Although the fights began without much rules for severe injuries, it soon became very deadly as the aggression and violence were enjoyed by the people. 

There was initially a law that the gladiators who lost the battle or got injured to be sentenced to death on the field, which was re-written to minimize deaths later under the reign of Julius Caesar.

The casualties in Colosseum

One of the morbid facts about Rome is the casualties that ensued with the growth in popularity of these games among the ancient Romans.

It is estimated that over 500,000 gladiators were killed in total during all the battles and the fights that this venue hosted. In the later years, along with the slaves, all the prisoners were put to fight as well.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

The last gladiator fight took place in Colosseum in 435 AD, although it is believed that the tradition continued for a few more decades before dying out.

Over one million animals were killed leading to the extinction of a few of them

Not just people, but a large number of animals were often a part of these gladiator fights and deadly games held in the Colosseum. They served as the companions of the gladiators, and if the fighters lost their game, both were subjected to death right on the field. 

It is estimated that more than one million wild animals were killed in total.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You
Facts about Rome – Gladiators were heroes

The inauguration of the Colosseum in 81 AD, where the games lasted 100 days set in motion this tradition of using wild animals. 

During these games in 81 AD alone, more than 9,000 wild animals were killed. It included many exotic animals and wild animals like elephants, crocodiles, giraffes, wild European horses, hippopotamus, wolves, snakes, hyenas, giraffes, lions and tigers among others.

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Many naval battles were also held at The Colosseum

Apart from the gladiator fights and killing sports, naval battles were popular, where the gladiators fought in ships. To achieve this, the Colosseum was completely flooded. 

Sometimes, these naval battles also took place in the lakes when flooding the Colosseum was not possible.

Gladiator blood as medicine

Apart from being the source of enjoyment and amusements, the gladiators enjoyed the stardom of celebrities although many were slaves among them.

Among the things that people were formed of, their blood was in great demand. 

The doctors in the Roman empire prescribed the blood of gladiators as medicine for many diseases, including women trying to get pregnant.

MORE FACTS ABOUT ROME TO KNOW

Some more incredible facts about in the ancient days that are hard to believe.

Home to the oldest continuously used building

There are many incredible monuments in the city, can you guess which is used even to this day? Let me share with you one of the incredible facts about Rome. 

The popular Pantheon was a pagan temple that was constructed in 126 AD during the reign of Emperor Augustus by Consul Marcus Agrippa. This building was restored many times since its origin. What makes it special is that it is the oldest building in the world that has been in continuous use since its creation, over 2500 years later. 

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

The popular Pantheon was a pagan temple that was constructed in 126 AD during the reign of Emperor Augustus by Consul Marcus Agrippa.

This building was restored many times since its origin. What makes it special is that it is the oldest building in the world that has been in continuous use since its creation, over 2500 years later. 

The temple was converted to a cathedral during the Roman period when Christianity made its arrival. It functions as a church today, and there are no windows in this building. There is a hole in the roof at the centre through which the light and the air pass.

One of the many amazing things about Pantheon is it is among the most visited attractions in the city, maybe because the entry is free!

Senatus Populusque Romanus

One of the facts about Rome that is interesting is the meaning of the words Senatus Populusque Romanus or SPQR that you will find inscribed on all the structures and monuments in the city, including the ancient landmarks, manhole covers, the coat of arts and public buildings.

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You

Senatus Populusque Romanus in Latin means The Senate and People of Rome.

Ancient Romans knew about newspapers

The invention of the printing press and printed newspapers might have happened much later, but the newspapers were in circulation in Rome. The newspaper was called the Acta Diurna or Daily Acts.

The plant materials were used to circulate small bits of news about the military status, legal matters, and announcements of births, weddings and death, much like modern newspapers.

The first shopping mall was built in Rome

The city is credited for many firsts, and one of the most interesting facts of Rome is that it was also the city where the first-ever shopping mall was constructed.

It was built in 110AD by the Roman Emperor Trajan.

The city of Obelisks

Rome is a city of many things and one of the most fascinating Rome facts that it is the city of Obelisks too since there are thirteen of them, the highest in any city. 

The history of constructing these obelsiks dates back to the prehistoric period and obelisks were common in even the Egyptian empires. 

FACTS ABOUT ROME – THE VATICAN

75 Facts About Rome That Will Completely Surprise You
The view of the Vatican – Interesting facts about Rome

The city is home to a country

One of my favourite and fascinating facts about Rome is that there is another country that is in Rome – The Vatican.

The Vatican City, the home of the Pope is an independent country bordering Rome and is considered the centre of the religious world by the Catholics.

Did you know? There are postage stamps and passports issued in Vatican City. The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world.

St Peters’s Basilica

One of the amazing Roman facts is that St Peters’s Basilica, the construction of which took over 100 years to complete, is the largest Christian church building in the world and is located in the Vatican City.

facts about Rome

The gorgeous St Peters’s Basilica is visited by over seven million people every year.

The Vatican Museum

Make sure to take a tour of the Vatican museum’s extensive collection when you visit the Vatican city.

One of the most famous attractions of the museum is the gorgeous Sistine Chapel, which is known for its same size as the Temple of Solomon on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount as described in the Old Testament. 

There is a secret passageway to the Vatican

Here is one of the mind-blowing facts about Rome. One of the popular attractions near the Vatican is the beautiful castle – Castel Sant’Angelo. The castle is famous for its beautiful rooms decorated with frescoes, hallways, gardens, a prison, and even a torture chamber. 

But that’s not all to it. There is a secret passageway in this castle that leads to the Vatican called Passetto del Borgo, which was used by the Popes to go to Castel Sant’Angelo through the passage if there was danger in the Vatican.

The tunnel served its purpose when Pope Clement VII to escape to the nearby castle during the 1527 siege of Rome.

Saturnalia – The festival of Masters and Slaves

The existence of slaves was not new in Rome, with almost 30% of the population being slaves initially, which was considered a culture. 

But one of the facts about Rome culture was a festival called Saturnalia, which was unique.

In this festival held before Christmas, both the masters and slaves participated. What’s special is that these people reversed the roles in this festival with masters performing labour for their slaves. Slaves could order, speak freely and also disrespect without getting any punishment in this festival. 

Although the festival was originally intended to last a day, it soon became popular and was held for a week for many years.

A she-wolf was the mascot of Rome

Another interesting ancient Rome fact is that the mascot of the empire was a she-wolf, considered to be the caregiver of the founding brothers of the city Romulus and Remus.

ROME FACTS ABOUT FOOD

In this last section, check out some Modern Rome facts about food and some exciting facts about Rome culture and traditions in the past.

Romans preferred eating with their hands

The Romans ate food with their hands, rarely using a spoon, and eating was one of the most cherished activities, with people enjoying their food lying on the couch.

Romans had a love for exotic food

One of the fun facts about Rome is that the Romans loved exotic food, like the Roasted parrots and the tongue of Flamingos being some of the favourites.

Romans enjoy eating a lot

The people of Rome enjoyed foods of all kinds so much that they used to vomit when they would be full so that they could empty their stomachs to eat again more.

There is a Pasta Museum in Rome

One of the fun facts about Rome is that the people in love pasta so much that there is a dedicate museum for Pasta called the National Museum of Pasta Foods(Museo Nazionale Della Pasta Alimentari). The museum is owned by the Agnesi family, the founders of Agnesi, a pasta producer founded in 1824.

interesting facts about Rome food

This is where you should go if you want to know all about Pasta, including its history, your favourite kinds of pasta and how to make them, and even pasta art.

If you want to know how pasta is made, join this pasta making class in a winery where you can also eat what you made.

The pizza was not invented in Rome 

The world might famously associate Pizzas with Italy or the Rome empire, but here is another among the fun facts about Rome. The pizza was not created here.

interesting facts about Rome

The first versions of Pizza were grilled flatbreads that were topped with herbs, cheese, oils and garlic – a practice in ancient Greek, that eventually made its way to Naples, where the tradition of serving flatbread with toppings finally led to the modern-day Pizzas that we all cherish!

If you are wondering where to find the best Rome food, book this epic 3.5-hour tour that also includes tasting the best pizza.

ROME FACTS ABOUT CULTURE

Kissing on the lips was a typical gesture

Here is one of the fun facts about Rome regarding kissing. In the ancient times in Rome, it was a standard custom to kiss the close ones on the lips as a form of greeting, including friends, families and children apart from the romantic partners.

This changed with the introduction of catholic Christianity when kissing on the lips became a gesture reserved only between romantic partners and the rest getting forbidden.

Men wore Togas and Women wore Stolas

Let’s check out one of the interesting facts about Rome when it comes to clothing. Wearing clothes indicated that they were citizens of the empire. 

Men in the old Roman empire wore Togas, which was a simple cloth wrapped around the body, the ones you find on the statues you come across today in the city.

Rome facts

Although women began wearing Togas initially, they switched to Stolas, a female version of the same but made of linen, resembling a dress today from the 2nd century BC.

Eventually, Togas and Stolas began to symbolize wealthy families as the aristocrat families in the empire started using woollen and silk versions.

It shifted the dynamics of clothing with the commoners wearing different types of simple clothes including two pieces sewn on sides with openings for arms and head.

But Not everyone could wear Togas and Stolas

One of the unique facts about ancient Rome is that you could wear Togas or Stolas only if you were born in Rome and were the citizen. Foreign men and women and slaves were forbidden to wear Roman attire.

Purple – The colour of Royalty

It was during the Roman times that the purple colour attained a special status, which sticks even today as it is called one of the Royal colours. The reason behind this status is one of the exciting facts bout Rome.

interesting facts about Rome

The purple colour clothes were reserved for the upper class in the society, including the Emperors and Senators and the ordinary people were not allowed to use or wear anything in purple.

Public Restrooms

One of the facts about Rome that is hard to imagine today is that the restrooms throughout the empire were all public, including bathing spots.

No Toilet Paper

The ancient Romans didn’t use the toilet paper even after its invention, because they preferred wet sponges and running water.

Citizenship mandates

This one is among those quirky facts about Rome. If someone deserted their arm in the Roman empire, they could lose their citizenship permanently.

12-hour days

A day in the Roman Empire consisted of only 12 hours instead of 24 like today, and they used a sundial to measure time.

That’s a wrap for the most interesting facts about Rome, and hope you find some of the things thrilling and even curious to explore these things in person by planning a trip.

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Reshma Narasing

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