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Little-known facts about the famous sights of Rome

Little-known facts about the famous sights of Rome
20.04.2016

The Eternal City as often Rome is called, attracts by its monumentality and grandeur. Tourists from all over the world are willing to admire its fabulous beauty, but after they arrive in the metropolis, they are often disappointed. No, not by its beauty, but by the same type of information that local guides give them. What is worth to tell and what things to highlight to surprise even the erudite and well-read travelers?

If you start a tour with the bone Church, the tourists will remember Rome for a long time

If you start a tour with the bone Church, the tourists will remember Rome for a long time

Show them the Colosseum from an unusual side

The Flavian Amphitheatre was built instead of an artificial lake, and the thickness of its foundation made of a material similar to reinforced concrete is 13 m. This is told on each tour, but they unlikely tell you about this:

  • On its arena fought not only humans, but also elephants, tigers, lions, bears and hippos. At the Colosseum opening during a grand 100-day celebration, more than 9000 animals died an honorable death, and about 11 thousand during the festival organized by the Emperor Trajan! Few tour guides dare call this sanctuary "animal cemetery" and yet there’s a grain of truth, and a big one!
  • Before the construction of the basement floor, the arena was regularly used for naumachia, a spectacular show, imitating sea battles between gladiators. In the battles participated real galleys and ships, there were many victims! To flood the area to one meter depth, they used a special aqueduct, the famous Roman water supply hydraulic system.
  • The spirit of the amphitheater is present both in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and in the Palazzo Venezia, where at a time a lot of beautiful marble were moved from the Colosseum by looters and simple construction workers. The structure was partially taken away for building materials, our ancestors seem to treat the holy shrine without any reverential attitude!
  • The Hypogeum, or underground floor designed for inventory, fighters and animals, in course of time turned into... a garden and space for cellars. Romans used it for decades purely for pragmatic purposes.
  • The structure represents a pinnacle of engineering. According to the architects, in case of fire 70 thousand spectators could leave the building in just 3 minutes!

The hopes of Pope Sixtus V to turn this monument of architecture into a wool factory were not destined to realize. And who knows what would be this attraction in this case? We won’t know it.

For the whole history of the Colosseum there were killed over half a million people and about a million animals

For the whole history of the Colosseum there were killed over half a million people and about a million animals

To make the Flavian Amphitheatre be no longer associated with the brutal murders, in 2000 the authorities launched "The Colosseum at night" program. Whenever in any country is abolished the death penalty or a single death sentence, the building lighting changes from white to gold.

Recently it became known that the gladiators were vegetarians: this food helped them increase body fat, in other words a "armor vest"

Recently it became known that the gladiators were vegetarians: this food helped them increase body fat, in other words a "armor vest"

You can surprise tourists while traveling through the city with these facts:

  1. Talking about gladiators fighting, mention that the blood of the fallen soldiers once... was used to treat infertility.
  2. Visiting one of the modern theaters, remember that the ancient Romans preferred the bloody shows even here. The characters, which according to the script were to die, often were replaced with people sentenced to death that were killed right on the stage.
  3. Offer travelers a flavored cappuccino, do not forget to mention that this drink is named in honor of the Italian Capuchin monks who wore a hood called cappucio.

In la Parolaccia restaurant (in Italian “swearing”) they use to be rude to visitors: the atmosphere here will certainly surprise tourists

In la Parolaccia restaurant (in Italian “swearing”) they use to be rude to visitors: the atmosphere here will certainly surprise tourists

  1. Visiting the necropolis at the Porta San Paolo, a Roman “Englishmen's Cemetery”, remember that many years ago in the country there was a funeral clown profession. This "specialist" in the guise of the deceased, was dancing and joking, to ward off evil spirits and to guarantee to the dead happiness in the afterlife.
  2. Tell tourists that admire the modern Roman shops, that the first shopping center was built by the emperor Trajan in the II A.D. It had 5 floors and about 150 stores!

As you can see in Rome there are so much unknown things! Learn, be curious and feel free to surprise your customers who will want to come back!

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