Rome has existed for more than 2,700 years. It is a place where political ideas were formed, religions born and grown, and where cultural impacts continue to thrive today. You can expect that throughout the years, it creates some interesting facts of Rome.
With so much things to do and see when you visit Rome, it can be intimidating if you don’t have any idea of what you could be seeing or where to start your adventure.
A visit to Rome means walking around ancient ruins, through designer stores, and of course–with many pasta breaks. There are plenty of facts about Rome that will motivate you to plan your next trip to the capital city of Italy!
Most Interesting Fact of Rome
One of the most interesting and fun fact about Rome is how much people will share with the Trevi Fountain! It is an iconic practice to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain while making a wish. What beats a wishing well? A wishing fountain!
The Trevi fountain is one of the famous landmarks in Italy (tip: get there early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid a crowd), many people from all around the world will come and toss their coin(s) in Euro.
In doing so, about 700,000 Euro is collected each year from the fountain! The funds are then donated to the charity Caritas. This goes to show how much a little contribution adds up to, and the amount of visitors in Rome annually.
It’s interesting how a seemingly touristic practice of tossing coins for wish making can translate to charitable benefits.
Other Fun Facts of Rome
Here are 24 more intriguing facts on Rome from the downright interesting, to the quirky, and the historic.
Rome was Founded in 735 BCE
One of the most basic facts of Rome, Roman mythology tells the story of Romulus, who with his brother Remus was raised by a she-wolf. After the brothers grew up, Romulus defeated and killed Remus in a fight and was elevated to the first ruler of Rome.
Rome as the Capital City
A fact about Rome, Italy is that Rome has been the modern capital of Italy since 1870. A little known fact on Rome, the capital city was Florence.
Romans Invented Law
A fact of Rome, the Twelve Tables is the first known legal system and was written in 5 BC. In just two years, dozens more laws were added to the Roman legal system.
You’ll Make Many Feline Friends
One of the funny facts about Rome is that there is a city law that protects the cats born on the streets. You will certainly find some Rome-ing around the Roman Forum or the Colosseum.
There is a lot to See
It should be no surprise that a city as old as Rome is full of landmarks and sights to see on your trip there. You can explore more than 900 churches and take photos of 280 fountains while visiting the city. Which means there are a lot of facts on Rome to take in a see!
Start your day with some hearty Italian breakfasts before diving deep into exploration.
Visit the Largest Church Ever Built
One of the most unique and interesting facts about Rome is that Rome is the only city with an independent city-state inside of it. And that is the head of the Catholic Church, the Vatican. You could easily spend a day inside visiting the museums, the Sistine Chapel, or attending a mass given by the Pope himself.
Vatican City is also home to St. Peter’s Basilica, which is the largest church ever built. If you plan on going to the Vatican, consider going with a tour as they will help you navigate security and help you see the highlights.
Visiting the Vatican City and Sistine Chapel is one of the best things to do in Rome.
What Else is Important about St. Peter’s Basilica
It is believed that Emperor Nero in 64 CE had St. Peter executed as a result of pushing the blame from the Great Fire. Nero blamed the city’s Christians for the fire and had them all executed and the Basilica in the Vatican is allegedly on top of St. Peter’s final resting place.
Facts About the Colosseum of Rome
What was the Colosseum Used for?
One of the major landmarks in Italy is the ancient Roman Colosseum. This is where battles between gladiators or animals took place. A fun fact of Rome is that they would even fill it up to stage naval war demonstrations!
Was it Really Well-Visited by Romans During its Heyday?
Yes, it would have been packed! The Colosseum would have held more than 50,000 Romans, which is a testament to both the population size of Rome and the popularity of the events.
Who Were the Gladiators
An interesting fact about Rome is that while there were certainly fights between gladiators that were deadly, most of the demonstrations did not end with death or a last man standing. Most gladitors were slaves but were treated like celebrities by Romans for their bravery and strength. However, they were still slaves first and dealt with terrible living conditions, causing some uprisings.
How Many Lost Their Lives at the Colosseum
The Colosseum was built in 70 CE, and before its last gladiator battle in 435 CE, more than 500,000 gladiators and 1 million animals would perish due to the battles and conflicts that took place here.
There are so many intriguing stories and legends about this Roman Colosseum, which makes it one of the interesting things to do in Rome with kids.
Gladiator Blood Didn’t go to Waste
Romans were full of medicinal secrets, which becomes a modern fun fact on Rome! If a woman in Ancient Rome was having infertility issues, doctors at the time would recommend rubbing onto their bodies or consuming Gladiator blood as a way to increase the chances of having a child.
The Colosseum isn’t the Only Colosseum
We use the word Colosseum interchangeably when talking about the main one everyone wants to visit in Rome. But, one of the less known facts about Rome is that there were actually more than 200 in Ancient Rome alone, and a visit outside of Rome will take you to even more ruins of Colosseums. Ancient Romans called the main one the Flavian Amphitheater.
The Colosseum also Wasn’t the Largest One
The largest stadium at the time was the Circus Maximus and it was home to chariot racing. This stadium held an estimated 250,000 on chariot race days.
Facts About Roman Empire
It was the World’s Largest City
And it held that title until 19th Century London! A fun fact on Rome is that Ancient Rome in 2 BCE is recorded to be home to more than 1 million residents.
The Roman Empire was a Dominant Political Force for Centuries
By the time the Roman Empire fell, it covered 2 million square miles, stretching from North England to Syria and had influences in North Africa and Asia too.
“All Roads Lead to Rome”
A phrase you have undoubtedly heard is the interesting fun fact about Rome, and there is a lot of truth in it. The Ancient Roman Empire built over 53,000 miles of roads by the fourth century. Their miles were shorter than ours at about 4,800 feet, but this network made getting to Rome easy.
An interesting fact about Italy is that it is one of the most visited countries in the world, and Rome is a popular destination within.
Ancient Rome was Ruled by Men
The Romans were a patriarchal society and women could not vote and were under the rule of their fathers or husbands. Women could however, petition for a divorce, own property, and inherit money.
Make Sure you Shop in Rome
There is plenty of designer fashion to be done while you visit Rome and other Italian cities. But shopping in Rome means you are taking part in an ancient tradition–a fact about Rome is that it is believed that the first shopping mall was built here in 110 CE and that Romans were able to buy food and goods.
Save Room for Desert… or Don’t!
Italian food has always been well-loved by all. You can never get enough from start to finish.
And while modern visitors may be able to hold on seconds and thirds to enjoy the next course, one of the more funny facts about Rome is that it is believed that Ancient Romans would force themselves to get sick in between meals in order to keep eating more.
Ancient Roman had some Quirky Emperors
One of the stand-outs of weird Emperors is Gaius Caligula. According to legend, and one of the best fun facts of Rome to share with those you’re traveling with, is that he loved his horse so much that Gaius was set to appoint him as a member of his Senate! However, he was assassinated before it could officially happen.
And What About Julius Caesar?
Caesar was never an Emperor of Rome. Caesar was a dictator who was placed into this powerful position and the first to rule all of Rome due to the wars happening. Emperors weren’t even a thing at the time–they did not exist until after Caesar’s assassination and Emperor Augustus rose into power.
The Great Fire of Rome Wasn’t Silent
A tragic fact about Rome, during the reign of Emperor Nero, the Great Fire of Rome happened, burning the city to the ground. Stories from this time have been passed down saying that Emperor Nero sang and played a fiddle as he watched it all happen.
Rome is full of interesting and fun facts and more sights and places to visit than you can ever fit into a couple of days stay. You will feel the magic and awe of Ancient Rome and how it has shaped the modern city on your next stay in Rome, Italy
Facts about Italians and Italy
Fun facts of Italy range from food and wine to history to modern influences, the best way to experience them is to visit Italy yourself!
You are sure to discover more interesting facts on your trip. There are plenty of facts about Italians and Italy that will blow your mind when visiting this perfect country.