25 Interesting Facts about Rome

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Want to know more about Rome? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Rome that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Rome facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. Rome was the first modern city to reach 1 million inhabitants

It might not be the largest city anymore, but historians estimate that Ancient Rome easily had a population of one million people. Which was long before big cities like New York and London could see themselves having its millionth citizen.

2. The city was founded in 753 B.C

According to the legend, the city was founded by two twin brothers named Romulus and Remus, which were raised by a she-wolf. Romulus went ahead and killed his brother Remus, and founded the Roman kingdom. 

Of course, people have been living here for much longer than that, and archeologists have found evidence supporting that the area has been inhabited since at least 14,000 years ago. 

READ MORE:  25 Interesting Facts about Colosseum

3. Forum Romanum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome

The Roman Forum or Forum Romanum as it’s known locally was an important center during the Roman empire. It was a political center and a place where day-to-day life took place. 

Still today it’s an important site where you can learn much about the city’s history, and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions. 

Forum Romanum

Photo: Shutterstock

4. Rome became the capital of Italy in 1870

Much happened after the Roman Empire fall apart, and it wasn’t until 1870 that the city of Rome could return to its glory days and once again become the capital. 

5. There are two major football teams in Rome

AS Roma and SS Lazio are the two most famous teams from the city, and both of them have the Olimpico stadium as their home arena. It’s one of the fiercest football derbies in Europe. 

Roma LAzio

Photo: Marco Iacobucci EPP / Shutterstock.com

6. The Roman university La Sapienza is the largest in Europe

The first University of Rome is both massive and prestigious with more than 100,000 students! 

7. There are more than 280 fountains and 900 churches

It is truly one of the most cultural cities in Europe, and visitors can admire more than 280 fountains and a staggering amount of 900 churches that are scattered around the city. 

One of the many interesting facts about Rome!

Church in Rome

Photo: Stefano_Valeri / Shutterstock.com

8. It is known as the Eternal City

You might have heard that Rome wasn’t built in one day, and now you also know that it is nicknamed the Eternal City. Even the ancient Romans themselves called it the Eternal City.

They believed that no matter what happened, Rome would prevail and live on forever. The term was first mentioned by Albius Tibullus in a poem from the 1st century.

9. Colosseum was a gift to the Romans

Colosseum is one of the most famous buildings in Rome, and it was built in 70-80 AD by Emperor Vespasian, and finished by Titus, his successor. It’s an ancient amphitheater where the gladiators fought to their death against wild animals or other gladiators. 

READ MORE:  25 Interesting Facts about Colosseum

It was built for the people’s entertainment, and when it was first opening, there was a 100-day celebration.  

Colosseum inuti

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10. The meaning of SPQR

This is something you can see in many places around the city, especially in older buildings. It’s an abbreviation for Senatus Populusque Romanus, which basically means The Senate and the people of Rome. 

11. The Romans were the first civilization to use concrete

Another interesting fact about Rome and the Romans is that they were the first civilization to use concrete, and they made it really durable.

The Pantheon, for example, is an old Roman temple that was first built during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), and later finished by Hadrian. And it’s still standing strong today, 2000 years later. 

Pantheon

12. There are lots of drinking fountains with delicious water

If you’ve ever been to Rome, you’ve probably seen fountains in many places, and it’s common for the locals to drink from them. Most travelers are wary about what water they drink because it can be contaminated in some countries, but not here. 

The Roman water has flown in the city since the invention of aqueducts during the Roman empire, and Romans today as well as visitors can still enjoy fresh water in the fountains. 

13. More than 3000 euro is collected every night from the Trevi Fountain

One of the most surprising facts about Rome can be found inside the Trevi Fountain. Everyone probably knows it’s a very popular attraction, and might also have heard about the legend saying that you should throw a coin to make your wish come true.

But I believe that it will come as a surprise that more than 3000 Euro is collected every single night. The money is donated to charity for the people in need. 

Trevi fountain coin toss

Photo: Shutterstock

14. The first ever shopping mall was built here

Between 107 and 110 AD, the Roman Emperor Trajan built the first shopping mall in the world, also known as the Trajan’s Market or Mercato di Traiano.

READ MORE:  25 Interesting Facts about Colosseum

15. The Vatican is located entirely within Rome’s city limits

Did you know that the Vatican is the world’s smallest sovereign state? A lot of people probably think it’s just another part of Rome because you can just walk to the Sistine Chapel or St Peter’s Basilica without showing your passport. 

But even though the Vatican is entirely surrounded by Rome and its city limits, it’s still its own state, and this is where the Pope lives. 

vatikanstaten - världens minsta land

5 x Facts about Ancient Rome

  • In Ancient Rome it was common for people to vomit between meals so they could eat more
  • Ancient Roman women used to dye their hair with beech wood ashes and goat fat
  • Roman male citizens wore Toga and the women wore 
  • The days were divided into 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness
  • The ancient Romans used to believe in many different gods
Rome facts for kids

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5 x Rome Facts for Kids

  • Cats are free to live wherever they are born in the city
  • Children go to school from at least 6 years old until they are 16
  • The Roman Empire was one of the biggest civilizations in human history
  • It is said that the Roman army could march at least 40 km every day
  • The Romans built many important road networks
The Roman empire

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General Facts about Rome

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, and other general facts about Rome that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 1,415,045,928
  • Nickname(s): The Eternal City, Capital of the World, Throne of St. Peter
  • Area: 1,285 km2 (496.3 sq mi)
  • Highest point: Monte Mario (139 meters above the sea)
  • Region: Lazio
  • Country: Italy
Trastevere

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Neighborhoods in Rome 

If you’re looking for facts about Rome, it might also be interesting to know about some of the different neighborhoods in the city. 

AventinoGarbatella
BorgoGhetto (Quartiere Ebraico)
Centro StoricoParioli
EsquilinoOstiense
MontiTrastevere

Flag of Rome

Rome flag

Map of Rome 

Map of Rome

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How many of these Rome Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

April 5th, 2019|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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