13 things probably you did not know about Rome

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Rome is an ideal destination for lovers of history and art. Walking through its streets and monuments is like traveling back in time, when the Roman Empire ruled the world. A city so rich in details, however, holds many secrets or curiosities that could go unnoticed for tourists too attached to Instagram.

Then, 13 of those things that are not in sight but that will enrich your next trip to the capital of the ancient world…

1) Rome was the political name of the state, but he had another name that was used exclusively in mystery rites: Love. By spreading this secret name, Valerio Sorano was executed, probably by crucifixion, a reserved punishment usually the slaves, not citizens.

2) Varro said that Rome was originally called Septimontio (“Seven Hills”). The hills are often included in this group are Aventio, Celio, Capitol Hill, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal.

3) The Romans gave their name to the five known by them planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

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4) In the National Museum of Rome can see a manuscript with a thrilling story around it, as explained by JC McKeown in his book Cabinet of Roman Curiosities:

During the withdrawal of the Germans from Italy in 1944, a detachment of SS soldiers tried to steal the most authoritative manuscript of Tacitus’ Germania, text describing the Germanic tribes living a simple and noble life, yet unsullied by the decline Rome. The manuscript was spared the pillaging after being hidden by its owner under the floor of the kitchen of the castle.However, his adventures did not end there: in the flood that ravaged Florence in 1966, was damaged.

5) Classical Romans came to think that wearing trousers was a barbaric custom.Still in 397 AD, Emperor Honorius forbade men wear trousers in Rome.

6) In Rome there are thirteen ancient obelisks eight brought from Egypt by Augustus and later emperors and five carved in Rome itself. The obelisk located at the top of the steps of the Plaza de Spain is inscribed with hieroglyphs rather carelessly copied in Roman times of the obelisk now in Piazza del Popolo.

7) The Monte Testaccio, an artificial hill, near the Tiber, south of the Aventino, currently has more than 30 meters high and well over 800 meters in perimeter. It is almost entirely composed of fragments of amphorae and other ceramic containers, discarded after being used. The oldest amphora found in the area has been dated to 144 BC

8) The disappearance of many of the great monuments of ancient Rome not led the barbarian hordes, nor was due to the action of nature, but it was the work of the people themselves.

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9) Pliny that the Tiber experience frequent and sudden increases accompanied by flooding level in Rome itself more than any other place of their course. These disasters continued to occur until the river was channeled in the late nineteenth century, but already in antiquity had developed the expertise to build effective barriers against flooding technology.

10) The Vatican is the smallest country in the world, with a population of 900 inhabitants and an area of just 44 hectares. And more: it is the only country with Latin as the language.

11) Giolitti is the oldest ice cream parlor in town, open since 1890. It has become the official supplier of the Vatican, even created the flavor brown glacé (candied chestnuts) to John Paul II.

12) Instead of Rome, you will see SPQR all over the place. The acronym SPQR is a Latin phrase meaning “the Senate and people of Rome.” In ancient Roman times, this represented the government of entire Roman Empire.

13) The “Mouth of Truth,” which supposedly cut the hand of anyone who tells a lie, it was probably a manhole cover in ancient Rome.

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