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!
Rome is known as the Eternal City and as Caput Mundi, which comes from the Latin and 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 the world capital. It has been Italy’s capital since 1871.
Rome celebrates its birthday on April 21. Founded in 753 BC, it turned 1262 this year!
But Rome’s history actually dates back to the Etruscan era (800 BC). It is, in fact, one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe.
According to popular belief, if you throw a coin in Rome’s trevi fountain, you have a greater chance of visiting it again.
This belief is so popular that people thow in about 3,000 Euro in the Trevi Fountain every day! This money goes to the city. Beware of taking any, as this action is heavily fined!
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.
Rome rests on seven hills: Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal.
The 7 hills of Rome are all 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.
Rome’s center, along with the Holy See (the Vatican and St. Paul’s Basilica) is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Rome is also home to the Sistine Chapel, and the Coliseum. And the 14th most visited city in the world. The 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist destination in Italy.
The Eternal City?
Rome has been so-called 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. And it’s a delightful place to discover! Come on over!
[Image of us on Rome’s Spanish Steps: via our friend Maurizio in Rome; All rights reserved.]