5 Amazing Facts about Rome

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Interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Rome.

1.      The first shopping mall

The first ever shopping mall was built in Rome between 107 and 110 AD by Emperor Trajan. It sold a wide variety of goods and grocery items.

2.      The Spanish steps are not Spanish

Spanish Steps are mainly French, in that they were funded by a donation from a French diplomat, Etienne Gueffier. There is also a case for them being Italian, as they were crafted by two Italian architects, Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi although, seeing as the Kingdom of Italy did not come into being until 1861, and the staircase was built between 1723 and 1725, that description is also problematic. But Spanish? No. The name comes from the fact that the Spanish Embassy was, at the time of their construction, located at the base of the stairs. However, in 1723, Spain had a Bourbon-French king, Philip V who was so French that he was a grandson of Louis XIV, and had been born in Versailles.

3.      Concrete

Concrete was a Roman invention used on many structures such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which are still standing today thanks to the development of Roman cement and concrete. The Romans first began building with concrete over 2,100 years ago and used it throughout the Mediterranean basin in everything from aqueducts and buildings to bridges and monuments.

4.      All Roads leads to Rome

The Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles by the early fourth century. Each Roman mile was about 4,800 feet and marked by a milestone, giving birth to the saying “All roads lead to Rome.”

5.      Rome wanted to host a lost Olympics

The 1940 Olympic Games did not take place for good reason. There was a really major war on. They should have been staged in London, but could have pitched up in Rome “ the Italian capital came second to its British rival in a deciding vote held in June 1939, just two months before the German invasion of Poland. Mussolini dreamed of hosting the Games as a follow-up to Hitler’s Nazi carnival in Berlin in 1936, and crafted the venue the modestly named Foro Mussolini sports complex was put into place on the west bank of the Tiber between 1928 and 1939. It is still there, now known as the Foro Italico, with the modern Stadio Olimpico standing as part of it. London held the 1948 Olympic Games rather than the 1940 hurrah. Rome would have to wait for the summer of 1960 to see the five-ring flag flying.

 

 

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