15. There are More Than 900 Churches in Rome — More Than Any Other City.
© Provided by Business Insider
This one isn't a total shocker considering Vatican City is within the city limits (technically not part of Rome, because it's, you know, its own country) -- but still, wow! That's a lot. And it's no surprise that many of these beautiful and historic edifices are popular attractions for visitors. During an average year, Rome gets around 10 million visitors, but on a holy year, it can be significantly more (some estimates say double). And get ready, because Pope Francis has announced a forthcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy, kicking off on December 8th. So it must be a good thing that there are 900-plus churches to accommodate Rome's religious pilgrims.

16. There is No Proof that the Romans Threw Christians to the Lions in the Colosseum.
Most of us have heard about how the Romans persecuted Christians, and anyone who has visited the Colosseum has seen the cross in honor of the Christians who were martyred there. It is true that there were animal hunts held in the Colosseum, and there were also executions in which the criminals had to face (and get killed by) bloodthirsty beasts. But there is no evidence that Christians specifically were punished that way. According to Candida Moss, Professor of the New Testament and Early Christianity at Notre Dame, killing Christians was rare and the persecution of Christians was limited to a handful of years.
Tangentially related, for anyone who has seen "Gladiator," when the emperor gave the thumbs up sign, it was actually a sign to kill rather than to grant mercy.
17. Rome is Full of Cats And They Have Squatters Rights.
If you have cat allergies, be aware that Rome is full of felines — possibly around 300,000 of them. There is a large cat sanctuary in the Largo di Torre Argentina and plenty of furry friends can be found prowling around the city's other ancient ruins. This is because a Roman law essentially gives cats squatters' rights — wherever five or more cats live together in the city, they can't be chased away.