All roads lead to Rome, right?
Rome, the “Eternal City,” brims with ancient history, from the Colosseum to the port of Ostia Antica to majestic Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel. Because of its history, art, architecture, and beauty – and perhaps its gelato and pasta! – Rome is one of our most popular cities.
Here are 12 interesting facts about Rome.
- Modern Rome has 280 fountains and more than 900 churches.
- Nearly 700,000 euros worth of coins are tossed into Rome’s Trevi Fountain each year. The proceeds are donated to Caritas to help those in need.
- The Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles by the early fourth century. Each Roman mile was about 4,800 feet and marked by a milestone, giving birth to the saying “All roads lead to Rome.”
- In Ancient Rome, only free-born men were allowed to wear togas, a sign of Roman citizenship. Women wore stolas, the female version of togas, made from linen.
- The mascot of Rome is a she-wolf that cared for brothers Romulus and Remus, the mythological founders of Rome.
- Rome became the capital city of unified Italy in 1870, taking the title from Florence.
- Law in Rome allows cats to live without disruption in the place they were born. Wild cats can be climbing the walls of the Colosseum, and sleeping among the ruins of the Forum.
- Women in ancient Rome dyed their hair with goat fat and beech wood ashes. The most popular colors were red and blond.
- The first ever shopping mall was built in Rome between 107 and 110 AD by Emperor Trajan. It sold a wide variety of goods and grocery items.
- Rome’s first university, La Sapienza, established in 1303 AD, is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world.
- Rome has a museum dedicated entirely to pasta.
- St Peter’s basilica inside Vatican City is the largest church ever constructed.
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