With tourist season upon us, wouldn’t you like to know a bit more about Rome the Eternal City? Just for when you’re lucky enough to find yourself over here in the boot?!! Well first off, Rome is known as the Eternal City and as Caput Mundi. A Latin word which means capital of the world.
Which seems to stem from the fact that Romans have longed viewed (even back in ancient history) their city as the world’s capital. And during the Roman Empire, Rome was in fact viewd as the world’s capital. It has been Italy’s capital since 1871.
6 Fun Facts About Rome
1. Rome’s birthday: April 21
Rome celebrates its birthday on April 21. According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC. Archaeology dates it back to 8th century BC (700 BC), with the Etruscan ruins. That makes it about 2800 years old. And Rome is, in fact, one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe.
2. Rome and the wolf legend
Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of ancient Rome, were twin grandsons of ancient king Numitor and supposedly fed by a wolf. According to the tale, a conquering king ordered the drowning of the infants in the Tiber River. But the trough in which they were placed floated safely down river, landing at the future site of Rome. There a she-wolf and a woodpecker fed and suckled them until a herdsman named Faustulus found and raised them. After killing the usurper of their throne, the twins went on to the found the town of Rome there on the banks of the Tiber River.
3. The “magic” Trevi fountain
According to popular belief, if you toss a coin into Trevi fountain, you’ll visit Rome again! This belief is so popular that people throw about 3,000 Euro into the waters of Trevi Fountain every day! Money which goes to the city, so beware of taking any, as this action is heavily fined!
4. The catacombs: ancient cemetary
Rome’s catacombs are 13 KM (8 miles) long and contain some 40,000 tombs. Contrary to popular belief, they say the catacombs were not used as hiding places. But rather, because Roman law forbade burial places within city limits, as burial grounds. And that’s a lot of tombs.
5. Rome rests on seven hills
The seven hills of Rome are called: Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal. And all seven of them located east of the Tiber River, and within the city walls.
Tradition has it that Romulus (Rome’s founder) founded the original city on Palatine Hill. And that each hill contained a small settlement. It was only when these settlements began participating in a series of games together that they started uniting. Rome came into being, they say, when these citizens, acting together, drained the marshlands between them, turning them into markets. Unity and cooperation go a long way!!
6. Rome: a Unesco Site
The city center of Rome is a Unesco World Heritage Site. As are also the Holy See (the Vatican and St. Paul’s Basilica). Rome is also home to the Sistine Chapel, and the Coliseum. It is the 14th most visited city in the world. The 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist destination in Italy.
7. The Eternal City
OK, SO I SAID 6 FUN FACTS… BUT WHO’S COUNTING? We could talk all day about the wonders of Rome and not run out of things to say!!
Rome is often called the eternal city because ancient Romans believed that no matter how many empires would rise and fall, Rome would endure forever. Obviously a faulty belief, because the Roman Empire did fall. But the Eternal City still stands, awaiting your visit.It’s a delightful place so come on over!
Ancient Romans believed their city would endure forever. And even though that is impossible, the Eternal City has endured, still stands, and awaits your visit!Tweet
Images by our Roman friend Maurizio; all rights reserved.