If you had to roam the streets of Rome – excuse the pun (actually, we’re not sorry) – you would feel like you were living half in the modern world and half in the ancient world. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of ancient Rome has not been excavated as more than 90% of the ruins are found underground – about 30ft underground.
Since the city’s history spans more than 2800 years, this means there are plenty of layers of history. Furthermore, archaeologists and historians cannot exactly indulge in cordoning off digging sites because Rome still functions as a city.
You might have seen this abbreviation before. Possibly, you have even spotted it during your time in Rome. SPQR is the abbreviation for the “Senatus Populusque Romanus.” If you translate it directly, it means “The Senate and People of Rome.” That doesn’t sound like anything important, but it does refer to the recognition of the dual sovereignty of the Roman senate and the people.
For instance, the people are both individuals and Romans, as the senators are both senators and Romans. Despite Rome belonging to Italy, this principle is more or less maintained in the city nowadays. So there is being Roman, and there is being Italian, and do not mix between the two.
Victor Emmanuel II National Monument
One of the grandest and most striking monuments in Rome is, with no doubt, the Victor Emmanuel II National Monument. It is also known as Altare Della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland). And while the monument is not ancient, it is now part of the Roman landscape.
Did we mention it was grand? The monument reaches 266ft (81m) in length. It is also a striking white. It was originally constructed to pay homage to the first king, Victor Emmanuel II, of a united Italy. It is true it is not ancient, but no list about Rome could leave this monument out.
The City of Cats
In Taiwan, cats have their own village. In Japan, cats have their own island (and they are also a huge concept at coffee shops). And in Rome, cats have their own city. So, if you are a cat looking for a destination, you have some options.
While Istanbul may claim the title, ‘city of cats.’ Rome is not far behind. There are approximately 300,000 cats living in Rome. 180,000 live with families, while 120,000 are feral cats. With the relaxed laws around feral cats, it is little wonder that so many of them make this ancient city their home.
Italy may be a producer of some great car brands such as Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and, of course, Ferrari, however, in Rome, it is the Vespa that wins as a popular transport choice. When visiting the city, you will see plenty of the locals whizzing around on scooters.
Some of the major motivations for the locals to favor mopeds are the narrow roads, traffic congestion, and gasoline prices. Certainly, the last factor makes even more sense now, as gasoline bills are enough to make someone feel dizzy. Doing as the Romans do in Rome will save you a bit.