If you’re going to study in the Eternal City, there are several things you should know about the city you are moving to. Here’s a list of 10 facts about Rome and its local citizens that you won’t find on Wikipedia.
1. It’s the new capital of Street Art
Recently, the streets of Rome have been transformed into a modern art gallery. Many street artists have shown their works, giving the city a fabulous atmosphere everywhere you go. From the centre to the suburbs, Rome is becoming a public open-air museum.
2. The city’s views
At the top of the wonderful Aventine Hill, next to the Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden), you’ll find a beautiful surprise. If you look through the keyhole of the gate of the Villa of the Grand Priory of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, you can enjoy a great view of Saint Peter’s Dome.
3. A strange perspective
While we’re talking about Saint Peter, if you go towards Saint Peter’s Dome from Villa Pamphili, via Via Niccolò Piccolomini, you’ll see that the closer you get to the Dome, the further it seems to be, and that when you walk away, it actually appears to be closer.
4. July and October festivals
Every July, the Trastevere district hosts the Festa de’ Noantri (literally, “Our Festival”), a legendary religious commemoration spiced up with big feasts, live gigs and fireworks. In ancient times, to celebrate the end of the grape harvest in October, Romans invented the Ottobrate Romane (“Roman October days”), days in which people used to rest after all the hard work. Nowadays, it is celebrated in the Monti district and is very popular among young people, especially for the live gigs in the area.
5. The Roman Ghetto and its food
One of the oldest Ghettos in Western Europe, it was also the last to be abolished, so traditions lived on. This district in the centre of Rome is surrounded by a magical atmosphere. Just walk around the area and step into any one of its bakeries or restaurants and taste the typical dishes, from bread to artichokes.
6. Our own way of giving directions
When you get lost, it’s natural that you ask for directions. If you get lost in Rome, prepare yourself for the colourful way we have of giving directions. Most of the time, you won’t understand where to go, so we prefer to walk along with you to your destination.
7. The Roman aqueduct
Aqua Virgo aqueduct is the only Ancient Roman aqueduct that is still working today. Inaugurated in 19 BC by Marco Vipsanio Agrippa, this aqueduct supplies the famous Trevi Fountain.
8. The Roman derby
In Rome there are two main football teams: S.S. Lazio and A.S. Roma. This rivalry is very passionately cherished in the city: teasing and mocking the other team’s supporters is common practice on the days leading up to the match.
9. “Tutte le strade portano a Roma”
This famous saying means “Every road leads to Rome”. It has its origins in Ancient Rome, when an efficient road system of Vie Consolari (“Consular Roads”) was made. Via Aurelia, Via Flaminia, and so on, are still used today. They were built to create a good transport system.
10. The Roman grattachecca
During the summer, it is very common to have a particular type of drink: a sort of icy water, seasoned with various kinds of syrups. The words comes from gratta, “scratch”, and checca, “ice block”.
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