15 Fun Facts About Rome

Rome captures the hearts of 7-10 million tourists every year. The Eternal City is bursting with history, art, and delicious food. Having been in the spotlight for centuries, you would think all of Rome’s secrets had been revealed. But there are lots of lesser-known details about the city that you may not have heard. Let’s test your knowledge and see if you know any of these 20 fun facts about Rome.

1: Rome was founded in 735 BC

Rome was thought to be founded in 753 BC by Romulus. Legend says that Romulus and his twin brother Remus were raised by a she-wolf after being abandoned in the Tiber river. Eventually, a shepherd found the boys and took them in as his own. After growing up, Romulus fought and killed Remus, becoming the first ruler of Rome!

2: Cats are free to roam in Rome

There is a law in Rome that permits cats to live where they were born without disturbance. While visiting Rome, you will be able to see hundreds of cats resting in the ruins of the Forum and walking on the walls of the Colosseum.

3: Togas were not worn by all

In Ancient Rome, only free men could wear a toga. Wearing a toga was reserved for free men who were born in Rome. The traditional garment of Roman women is called a stola.

4: Why the Trevi Fountain doesn’t overflow with coins

Approximately 3,000 Euros are collected from the bottom of the Trevi Fountain every night. All this money is donated to a catholic charity, Caritas, who uses the money to help needy families in Rome.

5: Colosseum Casualties

Throughout the battles at the Colosseum, it is estimated that over 500,000 people and 1 million wild animals were killed. The last documented gladiator fight took place in 435 AD.

6: The Life of Gladiators

Contrary to popular belief, Roman Gladiators rarely fought to the death. Instead they were considered celebrities. However, this fame did not bring ease into their lives. Some Gladiators did die in combat and many were slaves. These harsh conditions inspired rebellions such as the famous rebellion led by Spartacus.

7: Emperor Gaius Caligula

The Roman Emperor Gaius Caligula did some questionable things including: making his horse a senator, committing incest with his sisters, feeding prisoners to wild animals, and having conversations with the moon.

8: Roman Delicacies

In ancient Rome, Flamingo tongues were considered a popular delicacy.

9: Emperor Nero

The ancient Roman Emperor Nero (ruling from 54 AD – 68 AD) is notorious for supposedly singing and playing the fiddle while Rome burned to the ground during the Great Fire of Rome.

10: Present Day Rome

Today, Rome contains 280 fountains and over 900 churches that tourists and locals can enjoy year round.

11: Rome wasn’t always the Capital City

Rome stole the title of “capital city” from Florence in 1870.

12: SPQR

The symbol SPQR, which is found all over the city of Rome, stands for “Senatus Populusque Romanus” which means, “The senate and the people of Rome”.

13: Beauty in Rome

Women in ancient Rome dyed their hair red and blonde by using goat fat and beech wood ashes.

14: The first mall in Rome

The Roman Emperor Trajan built the first ever shopping mall. It contained multiple levels and over 150 outlets that sold everything ranging from food to clothes.

15: Gladiator Blood

When a woman in ancient Rome was having trouble having a child, the doctor would prescribe gladiator blood to increase fertility. Gladiator blood was used for a number of other medical problems in ancient Rome.

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