Ah, Rome. The sprawling, stunning cosmopolitan city that’s steeped in some of the world’s earliest history. From tales of Emperors to stepping in the footsteps of historic Gladiators, Rome is at the top of many travelers’ “must go to” lists and it’s easy to see why. From the incredible Colosseum to the iconic Trevi fountain, the historic Pantheon and of course the cuisine and culture, Rome is a city that every traveler should experience.
You could purchase a sight seeing tour in Rome in order to discover some of this iconic city’s history, or you could sit back, relax and enjoy this list of incredible facts we bet you didn’t know about the capital of Italy.
It might just be enough to make you book that flight.
Rome is Europe’s 8th most populous city
With a population of 2.8 million (as of 2016), Rome is Italy’s largest city and Europe’s 8th largest. If you’d like a little more perspective, ancient Rome’s population peaked at a minimal 1 million in comparison!
Rome wasn’t always the capital of Italy
It’s true! Back in 1861, when Italy became a unified country, the capital was in fact, Turin. Then in 1864, Florence became its capital. Then, 6 years later in 1870 Rome became the capital we all associate with today.
Shopping malls were invented in Rome
Sounds absurd! But it’s true. Back in 100CE, Emperor Trajan had a market built so everyone could shop/barter and browse all in one place. The arcades of this market are still visible today.
The Trevi fountain receives over €3000($3,400) a day!
If you want to ensure a safe return to Rome, then legend says you must throw a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi fountain. So, you can see why it’s a popular tourist attraction! The coins are collect daily by city officials using a water vacuum. It’s also illegal to remove money from the fountain as the money goes directly to helping the city’s poor.
The city contains an entire state
You may or may not already know this one, but it’s incredible nonetheless. Rome is home to the entire independent state: Vatican City. Rome is the only city on Earth that can claim it contains an entire state within it’s boarders.
The Spanish Steps are not Spanish
Confusing? Just a little! The Spanish steps weren’t built by the Spanish. The name simply refers to the fact that the Spanish Embassy could be found at the bottom of the steps during their construction.
All (or most) roads really did lead to Rome
It’s not strictly true but the old saying does have some merit. Being avid road builders, the Romans built around 50,000 miles of road by the 4th Century BCE. These stretched throughout the Roman Empire and many began in Rome itself. If you fancy walking or cycling along one today then check out the ancient Appian Way or the Via Appia for a real taste of history.
After exploring Rome, consider a day trip to Tivoli. Here’s great post with all the details!