Knowing more about the destination can help enrich the experience and ensure a memorable trip, right?
Rome, one of the most romantic and inspiring cities in the world, is one of those destinations that conquer the heart of the traveler right away. After all, nothing like walking through beautiful squares, museums and monuments that are true historical patrimonies.
To make your next trip to the Italian capital even more interesting here are 13 funny curiosities about Rome that you should know:
Source: Flickr/Gareth Williams
# 1 Romulus and Remus
The legend says that ancient Rome was founded by two brothers, and demi-gods, Romulus and Remus. The two decide to found a city, and in an argument over who would rule the city, Romulus killed his brother in a moment of fury and gave to the city the name of Rome.
# 2 Cappuccino
Italy is well known for its delicious cappuccino. But in Rome, the local tradition says don’t ever order a cup of cappuccino after 11 am or after a meal. According to Romans, fresh milk impairs digestion.
If you are interested in the Italian gastronomy, check out these foods that you must try in Rome, and discover more about places to eat in Italy in our list of where and what to eat in Rome, Venice & Milan.
# 3 Secret keyhole
In Rome, at the Knight of the Malta gate on Aventine Hill, there’s a tiny, nondescript keyhole that adorns a green wooden door at the top of the hill. If you peek through the keyhole, you’ll see the Vatican perfectly lined up with the garden. No one knows whether this was planned or just a lucky coincidence.
# 4 “Eternal City”
Rome is often referred to as the “Eternal City”. This name can be traced to the ancient Romans’ beliefs in the greatness of their city. The Roman people believed that, no matter what happened to the world and other empires, Rome would last forever.
Source: Flickr/Vince O’Sullivan
# 5 Colosseum
The Colosseum was completed in the year AD 80 and could seat approximately 50,000 spectators. The monument was built with the purpose of hosting the combat between gladiators and battles with animals.
Read also our list of interesting things you should know about the Colosseum.
# 6 Vatican
In Rome, more precisely in the northern part of the city, it’s located the smallest independent state in the world and the residence of the Pope, the Vatican City.
# 7 Secret passageway to the Vatican
Just a few steps from the Vatican you’ll find the Castel Sant’Angelo. The castle has many beautiful rooms decorated with frescoes, a prison, and even a torture chamber. In the castle, there is a secret passageway to the Vatican. Popes used to go to Castel Sant’Angelo through the passage if they felt they were in danger at the Vatican.
# 8 Painter Raphael
The famous painter Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) was buried in the beautiful Pantheon in Rome because he requested it.
Source: Flickr/Cristian Santinon
# 9 Lie detector
Liar, liar, pants on fire! The Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth) is an ancient marble sculpture, in disk format, reminiscent of a human face. The legend goes that the object fulfilled the function of a lie detector. A man would have to put his hand inside its mouth, tell a lie and the sculpture would bite the person’s hand off.
# 10 Sistine Chapel
In the Vatican Museum, the gorgeous Sistine Chapel has the same size, as described in the Old Testament, as the Temple of Solomon on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Per year five million people, around 25,000 people a day, visit the chapel and it’s also where you find Michelangelo’s portray of the scenes of Genesis.
# 11 Trevi Fountain
Did you ever wonder how much money is collected in the Trevi Fountain? Lots of tourists visit the fountain daily and throw a coin into the water. Says the local legend that a coin thrown from the right hand over the left shoulder into the fountain will ensure a return to Rome.
An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day! All the money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic charity, which uses the money to provide services to families in need in the city of Rome.
# 12 Water in Rome
When visiting the city, there is no need to buy water. There are many fountains throughout Rome with potable water from which you can fill a bottle while visiting the sites.
# 13 Churches and fountains
When in Rome you’ll see lots of fountains and lots of churches. To be more precise, the city has 280 fountains and more than 900 churches.