Looking for interesting facts about Rome?
Welcome to the world of Rome, the capital of Italy, also known as the Eternal City! With a rich history spanning thousands of years, Rome has countless fascinating stories and secrets waiting to be uncovered.
Rome is a captivating destination that has intrigued travelers and history enthusiasts for centuries. Its rich heritage, iconic landmarks, and captivating stories make it a treasure trove of historical wonders.
This article will uncover some lesser-known facts about Rome that will transport you back in time and ignite your sense of wanderlust.
So, buckle up and get ready for a charming journey through Rome’s past and present!
Table of Contents
Map of Rome
50+ Interesting Facts about Rome
A complete collection of unique and surprising facts about Rome, including facts about ancient Rome, and more.
Top 10 Facts about Rome
Here are the most interesting facts about Rome, including intriguing facts about Rome’s culture and traditions.
1. Rome was the first city in the world to reach a population of 1 million people
This happened in the 2nd century BC. This diverse population came from three different continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa.
2. Rome is home to the world’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica
3. Rome’s official language is Italian, but many residents speak Romanesco.
4. Rome has a population of over 2.8 million people
This makes Rome the most populous city on Italy, followed by Milan with 1.2m, then Naples with 962,000.
As well as being home to the world’s smallest state, Rome is also home to the world’s largest church. St. Peter’s Basilica is an architectural masterpiece and a significant pilgrimage site for Catholics worldwide.
5. Rome is the most visited city in Italy and one of the top destinations for world travelers
In 2018, a record 9.7 million people visited Rome! Post-pandemic, numbers fell but in 2022 Rome received 5.8 million international visitors, an incredible 500% increase from 2021.
6. Rome is known for its delicious cuisine
Traditional Roman dishes include pasta carbonara, cacio e pepe, and supplì (fried rice balls with a gooey center). Gelato, a popular Italian frozen dessert, is also a must-try when visiting Rome.
7. Rome has a whopping 900 churches, more than any other city
Hence Rome is known as the City of Churches, amongst many other nicknames.
8. The city has a strong coffee culture, with many cafes and espresso bars
In fact, Italians are known for their love of espresso, and their dislike of sugary, creamy coffees, so much so, that there are just 18 Starbucks outlets in all of Italy!
9. Rome is home to the world’s smallest state, Vatican City
The Vatican City, located within Rome, is the smallest independent country in the world. It is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, with the Pope as its sovereign.
10. The Trevi Fountain in Rome is famous for the tradition of throwing coins into the water
It is believed that throwing a coin over your shoulder into the fountain ensures your return to Rome. Around 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain every day.
25 Fun Facts about Rome History
Below is a collection of the most unbelievable facts about Rome’s history and origins, influence, and little-known facts about Rome’s architecture and landmarks.
11. The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful and most influential empires in history
With Rome as the capital, the vast, Roman Empire spanned across three continents and influenced the development of Western civilization.
12. Rome’s birthday is celebrated on April 21, 753 BC
This date was first mentioned by Varro in the 1st century BC and is based on archaeological evidence.Rome was founded in 753 BC by its first king, Romulus.
13. The Roman Forum was the center of political, commercial, and judicial life.
14. The Roman Empire spanned over 2 million square miles, dominating Europe, parts of Africa, and Asia
It extended from Syria to Scotland and lasted for more than 700 years. Emperor Hadrian attempted to conquer Scotland but failed.
15. Rome is known as the “Eternal City”
This is because ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world, Rome would never be destroyed.
16. The Romans built an extensive network of roads throughout their empire, covering over 400,000 km (250,000 miles)
These roads facilitated trade, communication, and the movement of troops, contributing to the efficiency and unity of the empire.
17. Rome’s Pantheon is the best-preserved ancient building in the city.
18. Rome is home to the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built
The Colosseum, the largest amphitheater in the Roman Empire, was built in 80 AD. It could hold up to 85,000 spectators and was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre.
19. Rome started as a small town and eventually became a republic
In this system, male Roman citizens could vote for leaders, while women and enslaved people couldn’t. Elected officials included consuls and senators who played important roles in governance.
20. The Romans were pioneers in concrete technology
They invented a mixture of volcanic ash, lime, and water, which allowed them to construct massive structures like the Colosseum and the Pantheon that still stand two thousand years later.
21. The Roman army was highly skilled and conquered various territories
They first conquered all of Italy and then went on to destroy Carthage, their greatest rival, in the Punic Wars. They also conquered Greece and expanded their empire to include modern-day France and Britain.
22. The Roman Empire’s official religion was Christianity after Emperor Constantine’s conversion.
23. The Roman Empire’s legal system influenced modern Western law.
The Romans developed a complex legal system that had a significant influence on Western legal traditions. Their laws were based on principles of justice, fairness, and the protection of individual rights. Many aspects of Roman law are still relevant today.
24. The Romans constructed impressive aqueducts to transport water from distant sources to cities and towns
These engineering marvels showcased their advanced knowledge of architecture and allowed for a reliable water supply in urban areas.
25. Gaius Julius Caesar was a prominent Roman politician and military general who played a crucial role in Roman history
He became dictator for 10 years but was assassinated due to concerns over his power. His death led to a civil war and eventually the rise of the Roman Empire.
26. The Romans had a polytheistic religion and believed in a pantheon of gods and goddesses
They worshiped deities such as Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Minerva. Religious practices and rituals were an integral part of Roman life.
27. Rome had a unique approach to incorporating conquered peoples into its society
Those who adopted Roman ways were eventually granted Roman citizenship. This practice contributed to the diversity and strength of the empire.
28. Roman women had more rights and freedoms compared to women in other ancient societies
29. The Romans built elaborate public baths that served as social spaces for relaxation, hygiene, and exercise
These baths were not only places for bathing but also for socializing and conducting business. They played an essential role in Roman society. The city is home to the famous Baths of Caracalla, ancient public baths.
30. The influence of Rome can be seen in the Romance languages, which evolved from Latin
Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian all trace their roots back to Latin, the language of the Romans.
31. Gladiators were trained fighters who entertained the Roman audiences in arenas like the Colosseum
These fighters engaged in combat with each other or with wild animals. Gladiator games were a popular form of entertainment in ancient Rome.
32. The city is home to the famous Catacombs of St. Callixtus, an ancient burial site
Rome’s numerous ancient catacombs are popular tourist attractions.
33. The city is home to the famous Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest basilica in Rome.
34. The Romans developed a calendar with 12 months and approximately 365.25 days
Their calendar system was a significant contribution to Western civilization and formed the basis for the modern calendar used today.
35. The Roman Empire eventually faced internal and external challenges that led to its decline and fall
Factors such as economic instability, invasions by barbarian tribes, and political instability contributed to the end of the empire in the West, although the Eastern Roman Empire continued as the Byzantine Empire.
5 Facts about Rome you Never Knew
Next are some strange and lesser-known facts about Rome that most people have never heard of.
36. Rome is older than Italy
Rome existed as a city-state for centuries before the unification of Italy in 1861. It has a rich history that predates the formation of the modern Italian state.
37. Only 10% of Ancient Rome has been excavated
Despite Rome’s rich history, only a small portion of ancient Rome has been excavated and uncovered. It is estimated that only about 10% of the ancient city has been explored by archaeologists. There are still many hidden treasures and historical sites buried beneath the modern city.
38. Rome has more catacombs than any other city
Rome is famous for its catacombs, which are underground burial sites. The city has more catacombs than any other place in the world. These catacombs were used by early Christians and contain elaborate networks of tunnels and chambers with thousands of tombs.
39. Rome is home to the world’s first shopping mall
Trajan’s Market, built in the 1st century AD, is considered the world’s first shopping mall. It featured multiple levels with a variety of shops and offices.
40. Rome has more obelisks than Egypt
Rome is home to more obelisks than any other city in the world. These ancient Egyptian structures were brought to Rome during the time of the Roman Empire and were used as monuments or decoration. Today, you can still see many of these obelisks throughout the city.
👉 Bonus Fact: Rome wasn’t always the capital city: Before the unification of Italy, Turin was briefly the capital from 1861 to 1865, and Florence held the position from 1865 to 1871. Rome became the capital of Italy in 1871.
10 Facts about Rome for kids
Now for some fun and educational facts about Rome for kids, including interesting facts about Rome’s influence on Western civilization.
41. The city has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters.
42. The Roman numeral system originated in Rome. The system remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the Late Middle Ages.
43. Rome has a professional football (soccer) team, AS Roma.
44. Rome has seven hills: Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal. One of Rome’s nicknames is “City of Hills”.
45. Rome’s currency is the Euro.
46. Rome has an extensive underground network of ancient catacombs. These underground burial sites were used by early Christians and are now popular tourist attractions, offering a glimpse into Rome’s early Christian history.
47. The city’s public transportation system includes buses, trams, and a metro.
48. Rome was the birthplace of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural and artistic achievements in Europe.
49. Rome is home to numerous famous landmarks, including the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, Colosseum, and the Spanish Steps.
50. The city’s patron saints are Peter and Paul.
Here are the most commonly-asked questions about Rome and facts about Rome empire:
What are 5 fun facts about Rome?
1. Rome was founded in 753 BC by its first king, Romulus, and it grew into a powerful city over the next few centuries.
2. The Romans had a complex system of aqueducts that brought water from distant sources into the city, allowing for a constant water supply.
3. Rome is home to the smallest country in the world, Vatican City, which is an independent city-state and the spiritual headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
4. The Colosseum, one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks, could seat around 50,000 spectators and hosted various events, including gladiatorial contests and mock sea battles.
5. Rome has a tradition of throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain. It is believed that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand, you will ensure your return to Rome. The fountain collects approximately €3,000 in coins every day, which is donated to charity.
What are 10 interesting facts about Rome?
1. Rome is known as the “Eternal City” because ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world, Rome would never be destroyed.
2. The Romans developed an extensive road network, known as the Roman roads, which spanned over 250,000 miles (400,000 km) across the empire.
3. Rome is home to numerous famous landmarks, including the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps.
4. The Vatican Museums in Rome house an extensive collection of art, including Michelangelo’s famous fresco, the Sistine Chapel.
5. Rome was the birthplace of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural and artistic achievements in Europe.
6. The Romans introduced the concept of the modern calendar, which had 365 days with an extra day added every four years (leap year).
7. The Colosseum, a magnificent amphitheater in Rome, was used for various forms of entertainment, including gladiatorial contests and public spectacles.
8. Rome has its own cuisine, known for dishes such as pasta carbonara, cacio e pepe, and supplì (fried rice balls with a filling).
9. The iconic Roman Colosseum attracts millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
10. Rome was once the capital of the vast Roman Empire, which spanned across three continents and influenced the development of Western civilization.
What are 20 facts about the Romans?
1. Rome was founded in 753 BC by its first king, Romulus, and it grew into a rich and powerful city over the next few centuries.
2. The Romans developed an extensive road network, known as the Roman roads, which spanned over 250,000 miles (400,000 km) across the empire.
3. The Romans had a complex system of aqueducts that brought water from distant sources into the city, allowing for a constant water supply.
4. By AD 117, the Roman Empire included the whole of Italy, all the lands around the Mediterranean, and much of Europe, including England, Wales, and parts of Scotland.
5. The Romans were skilled engineers and constructed impressive architectural structures like the Colosseum, aqueducts, and roads.
6. Rome is home to the smallest country in the world, Vatican City, an independent city-state and the spiritual headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
7. The Roman Empire lasted for more than 1,000 years, from 27 BC to 476 AD.
8. The Romans introduced the concept of the modern calendar, which had 365 days with an extra day added every four years (leap year).
9. The Romans were avid bathers and built elaborate public bathhouses throughout their empire for hygiene and relaxation purposes.
10. Rome is known as the “Eternal City” because ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world, Rome would never be destroyed.
11. The Colosseum, one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks, could seat around 50,000 spectators and hosted various events, including gladiatorial contests and mock sea battles.
12. The Romans had a sophisticated system of government, with elected officials, courts, and a complex legal system.
13. Rome is home to numerous famous landmarks, including the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps.
14. The Vatican Museums in Rome house an extensive collection of art, including Michelangelo’s famous fresco, the Sistine Chapel.
15. The Romans believed in gods and goddesses and had a polytheistic religion. Their mythology influenced many aspects of their daily lives and culture.
16. Rome was the birthplace of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural and artistic achievements in Europe.
17. The Romans were skilled in engineering and constructed impressive structures like the aqueducts, roads, and the monumental Colosseum.
18. The Roman army was well-trained and highly organized, allowing the empire to expand and maintain control over vast territories.
19. Rome had a complex and diverse cuisine that included dishes like garum (a fermented fish sauce), honey-glazed roast dormice, and stuffed sow’s udder.
20. The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD marked the end of ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Europe.
What are 3 interesting facts about Rome?
1. Rome is home to the smallest country in the world, Vatican City, which is an independent city-state and the spiritual headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
2. The Romans introduced the concept of the modern calendar, which had 365 days with an extra day added every four years (leap year).
3. The Colosseum, one of Rome’s most famous landmarks, could seat around 50,000 spectators and hosted various events, including gladiatorial contests and mock sea battles.
How old is Rome?
Rome was founded in 753 BC by its first king, Romulus. As of the current date in 2023, Rome is approximately 2,776 years old.
What’s Rome known for?
Rome is known for its rich history, ancient ruins, and iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon. It is also the spiritual center of the Roman Catholic Church, housing the Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica.
What food did Romans eat?
Romans enjoyed a diverse range of foods, including bread, olives, cheese, meat (such as pork and poultry), fish, fruits, vegetables, and wine. They also had unique dishes like garum (fermented fish sauce) and stuffed sow’s udder.
Rome Wiki Facts: General Information
More information, statistics and general facts about the city of Rome, updated as of 2023:
- Land area: 1,285 km2 (496.3 sq miles)
- Founded: 21st April 753 BC by King Romulus
- Age: 2,775 years
- Sovereign State: Italy
- Regional District: Lazio
- Total Population: 4,342,212 people (1st in Italy, 3rd in the EU)
- Life expectancy: 82 years.
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Official language: Italian (National Language)
- Mayor: Roberto Gualtieri
- Official Website: rome.com
- Time zone: UTC +1 (CET)
- Driving side: right
- Airports: Leonardo Da Vinci Airport FCO), Ciampino Airport (CIA)
- Country Number/Prefix: +39 06
- Country Code: IT
- Weather: lowest: 4C (winter), peak: 31C (summer)
- Famous residents: Julius Caesar, Sophia Loren, Willem Dafoe, Fransesco Totti, Sergio Leone
Conclusion: Rome Facts
There you have it – 50+ fascinating facts about Rome that showcase the city’s rich history, culture, and charm.
From ancient ruins to modern attractions, Rome truly has something for everyone. So, whether you’re planning a trip or simply want to learn more about this captivating city, we hope you enjoyed the fascinating trivia about ancient Rome, and the journey through Rome’s past and present. Arrivederci!
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