10 Strange and Wonderful Things You Didn’t Know About Rome

Rome is a city full of history. The city is decorated with relics from the past. Whether it’s the Colosseum that once housed famous battles between ancient Romans and fearless lions or the Trevi Fountain where one coin can make your dreams come true… you’re never short on things to do in Rome.

But whilst the history of Rome is well documented, there are a few things that may have gone under the radar. We’ve rounded up 15 strange and wonderful things you didn’t know about Rome. After all, it’s not all pizza and ice cream…

Rome’s moniker is the “Eternal City”

Whilst the history of Rome spans over 3,000 years, the Romans back then even referred to the city as the “Eternal City”… slightly arrogant or scarily clairvoyant?

All of Rome’s city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Yep. All of it. Every last corner is protected under UNESCO. That includes famous landmarks such as Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column, the Column of Marcus Aurelius, Santa Maria Maggiore, St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and, of course, all of the Vatican City.

The famous Spanish Steps were not built by the Spanish

That’s right, the famous Spanish steps that you’ve heard of were not created by the Spanish. In fact, it is because right by the steps you can find the Spanish Embassy.

The Vatican City is not apart of Rome


The Vatican City is not apart of Rome or even Italy. It is its own sovereign state.

People collectively throw over 3,000 euros into the Trevi Fountain


So, who’s jumping in for the spare change? Every day tourists throw up to 3,000€ into the fountain… that’s a lot of wishes.

Rome wasn’t always the capital of Italy.


Before Rome was declared the capital of Rome in 1870, it was Florence which held the title.

Roman’s kind of invented the media.


OK, not really. But before any form of media, Rome would use coins to publicize the emperor, his achievements and his family. How’s that for self promotion?

Ancient Romans imitated turtles.


During battles in olden times, ancient Romans would huddle together in a circular formation and use their shield as protection. This formation was called the tortoise.

Roman husbands kissed their wives to make sure they weren’t drunk.


At the end of a long day, husbands would give their wives a kiss. Not because they hadn’t seen each other all day. But instead to determine whether the wife was drunk. And they say romance is dead…

Romans invented capitalism

Emperor Trajan built the first shopping center in Rome. That’s right. The shopping center had a large range of different stalls from spices to textiles and fabrics.