Fun Facts About Rome

Now, when we have thoroughly studied the basic facts about the Eternal City and found out interesting facts about the Ancient Roman Empire, we can check up with the FUN facts about Rome! Those facts are not taught at schools and, probably, will surprise you. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Santa Or Befana?

On January, 5, in the streets of Rome you may encounter something weird: everywhere you go, you meet an old woman's figure. This seemingly evil character would hang from tops of markets' stands and different people may appear disguised as witсhes in the streets of Rome. So, what's going on and who is the lady? Let me introduce the beloved Italian Befana! In Rome, like all around Italy, candies and gifts are delivered to children not by Santa, not by Ded Moroz, but by an old witch-like woman with a broom. Believe it or not, but she’s the one to be in charge of putting presents into socks! Hope, you are not too shocked to find this out, so do not be afraid, because the story behind this tradition is absolutely kind and heart-melting. 

Motherland of Likes And Dislikes

Rome is the grandmother of the likes/dislike sign. As you remember, during the atrocious games of the Colosseum, where thousands of people and animals died, the audience of the arena had a chance to participate in disputable finales by pointing their thumb fingers up or down. Thumbs up meant “Let him live!”, thumbs down said “Finish him!”.

One “Funny” Restaurant

Cencio La Parolaccia is known as the most vulgar restaurant in Rome. Every customer who enters this place will be scolded thoroughly and profusely laughed at. However, the place is always totally full and booked up three months ahead.

Price of Swimming in the Trevi Fountain

For those inspired by the famous scene from the “La Dolce Vita” movie, we’d like to remind you that the penalty for washing in the Trevi Fountain is 450 euro. Would you dare?

Drink Your Cappuccino in the Morning or Die

Romans, just like the rest of the Italians, are “allergic”  to people who drink their cappuccino after lunch or dinner. You just can’t do that any other time but morning, and there are no excuses. Period.

The First Mall in the World

Rome is the motherland of commercial activity taken to the next level. Emperor Trajan was the first who built a big multi-floored mall, which has survived the centuries. In fact, Trajan’s market is among top attractions today in the City of Seven Hills.

The First Paid and Taxed Public Lavatory in the World    

We won’t list all the merits of Roman civilization, only a funny one such as the ancient public toilet for Roman citizens (we bet that, with no private cubes, highly philosophical discussions were guaranteed) that was also the first one to be taxed by the government represented by the emperor Nero. By the way, this fact also explains the famous saying “Money doesn't smell”. If you ever become an emperor or a president, try to tax public toilets. And then if anybody laughs at you just pronounce proudly “Money doesn't stink”!

Ancient Romans Were Normally… Bisexual

Among all the emperors only Claudius was absolutely straight, which actually wasn’t considered to be a good thing. Nowadays it’s different.

17 is the Number to Be Afraid Of

If you write 17 using the Roman numerals, you get XVII. And if you shuffle these figures you can come up with “VIXI”, which means “I lived” (but no more alive) in Latin. Those sad words are written on many ancient tombs.

The Oldest Logo

Everywhere you go in Rome you find mysterious SPQR letters. They stand for Senatus Populus Quiritium Romanus  - meaning "The Senate and People of Rome".

City of the Dead

Do you know that an 80km city of the dead is lying in the undergrounds of Rome since the 2nd century? The dark side of Rome is called the catacombs. Hundred of thousands of people were buried there in the past and today you can visit the endless crypts to get some goosebumps. Read more about this extraordinary landmark of Rome and why you should absolutely visit it. 

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