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Ten things you probably didn

It is one of the planet's most famous cities, canada goose clearance a shining light which has illuminated the torso of southern Europe for many a century. Can there possibly be a single fact or nugget of trivia about Rome that is not known to one and all? Well, maybe these 10 slivers of truth.

1. The first Romans were not Romans

Admittedly, the first Romans probably canada goose outlet didn't exist at all, if you consider the original residents of the Eternal City to be the mythical Romulus and Remus who established it, according to folklore, on the very specific day of April 21 753BC (or, at least, Romulus did. Remus, who had been killed in a row with his brother, was not an active part of the process).

Leaving aside the hoarier parts of this foundation yarn (particularly the bit about these twin siblings being suckled by a she wolf), the pertinent "fact" is probably that neither Romulus nor Remus was from the area. Instead, they were princes of Alba Longa, a city kingdom which reputedly existed some 12 miles south of where Rome now stands (this was a long way in 753BC).

Unhelpfully, Rome supposedly destroyed this urban rival in the seventh century BC but if you want to "see" it, it makes for a pleasant day trip from the Italian capital. It is deemed to have been located on the shore of Lake Albano, roughly on the spot now occupied by the picturesque modern town of Castel Gandolfo (which is home to the grandiose papal palace of the same name).

2. It has more than seven hills

The famous seven hills of Rome all rise up on the east bank of the Tiber. These cheap canada goose are, in alphabetical order, the Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal. But inconveniently for those who think seven is a magic number the 21stcentury city has rather grown beyond its ancient core, and now frames canada goose outlet store lots of hills. Among them are the Janiculum (or Gianicolo), south west of the centre on the far side of the river, and Monte Mario, north of Vatican City. This, at 456ft (139m), is the tallest peak canada goose uk shop in the metropolis, yet still isn't part of the traditional septet. Tough crowd.

3. The Spanish Steps are not Spanish

Is nothing sacred? Say it isn't so. Sorry if we are being truthful, the Spanish Steps are mainly French, in that they were funded by a canada goose outlet store uk 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 Canada Goose Jackets 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 canada goose black friday sale 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. Still, "The French Steps That Are Also A Bit Italian, Only Not" doesn't have a ring to it.

4. You can make a lot of money from the Trevi Fountain

Some 3,000 (2,578) is thrown into this iconic water feature every day, mainly by tourists keen to pay heed to the idea that if you toss a coin over canada goose factory outlet your left shoulder and into the canada goose jacket outlet fountain, using your right hand, you will return to the city. It is, however, illegal to remove money from the pool where it gathers. Witness the case of Roberto Cercelletta, who was arrested in 2002 after making a 34 year "career" of harvesting loose change from the fountain using a child's fishing net. Nowadays, coins are collected each night, and given to charity.

5. The Colosseum was not called "The Colosseum"

At least, not when it was first built. Which was, if we're going to use the canada goose outlet canada bare numbers, between 72 and 80AD. Back then, it would have been referred to as the "Amphitheatrium Flavium", because it was constructed by the Flavian dynasty of emperors notably Vespasian, who started it, and Titus, who finished it. These were powerful canada goose outlet shop men, so acknowledging their creation and not just calling it "Big Thing", as we effectively do now was a wise move. "Colosseum" came canada goose uk black friday into parlance circa 1000AD but even then, did not directly mean the amphitheatre. It referred to canada goose outlet sale an enormous statue a colossus, even of a former emperor (probably Nero) which stood outside, but has since vanished.

6. The Via di San Pietro in Carcere has a bleak past

Of course, the translation the "Street of St Peter in Prison" probably hints that all is not well with this meandering drag, which runs along the north canada goose outlet parka side of the Roman Forum, at the very heart of the city. But its darkness is deeper than the biblical reference. In the Roman era, it was the site of the Gemonian Stairs an infamous site of execution.

Built during the reign of the emperor Tiberius (14 37AD), these bloody steps witnessed many a tawdry death. Condemned cheap Canada Goose men would generally be strangled (not always to the point of asphyxiation) at the top, then tied up and thrown downwards. Their broken bodies would be left to rot at the bottom, before what was left of them was chucked into the Tiber. The stairs were no respecters of prestige either. They even claimed an emperor, Vitellius who was dispatched into the afterlife here in 69AD, after finishing second in a civil war.

7. Its biggest park is not the one you think

Let us be clear. The Villa Borghese is a wonderful urban space. A delight. A landscaped gem, ideal for quiet strolls on autumnal afternoons. But it is not, contrary to perception, the biggest park in Rome. To be precise, it is only the third largest. The kingpin is Villa Doria Pamphili, which supplies a broad green crown to the Monteverde district and the Janiculum/Giancolo (see number two). It is a little way from the centre. It merits a visit.

At a glance The worlds cities with the most green space

8. The city is still a bit fascist

In architectural terms, at least. The rise of Benito Mussolini, who pulled the country's strings between 1922 and 1943, left its mark on the Italian capital. It is still there in the form of "fascist" buildings. The Palazzo della Civilta Italiana a blocky near cube, created between 1937 and 1943, also known as the "Square Colosseum" is one such structure. The Palazzo della Farnesina, similarly monumental, born between 1935 and 1943, is another such giant landmark. It now houses Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

9. 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, cheap canada goose uk 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 uk canada goose outlet 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.

10. Roman Holidays can cause surprises

You've heard of Roman Holiday, the 1953 movie which makes perhaps the best ever use of Rome as a cinematic setting. Of course you have. Gregory Peck as a journalist, Audrey Hepburn as a bored princess who wants a day off. It is, without doubt, a fine work of big screen fiction but it contains a moment of truth. In the scene where Joe and Anya visit the Boca della Verita ("Mouth Of Truth") the marble face in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin which is said to bite the hand from liars who put their digits between its lips Peck played a trick on his canadian goose jacket co star. He pulled back his arm to reveal an apparent unscripted stump, his hand hidden in his canada goose outlet in usa sleeve. Hepburn's shriek was canada goose outlet black friday real.


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