How prosperous was the ancient city of Rome 2,000 years ago?

How prosperous was the ancient city of Rome 2,000 years ago?

Ancient Rome was a fascinating time, and we have been able to restore the city in its heyday from numerous historical sources to see what you could see if you went shopping.
The Romans started farming and ranching, so if there were no big parties, everyone kept to the habit of going to bed early and waking up early. Most Romans lived in apartment buildings, and like the shops along the streets today, the ground floor of the apartment buildings was filled with shops. You could go downstairs and start shopping when you get up early in the morning.
The bread was the most common staple food for the commoners and enslaved people in the towns. Most commoners did not have kitchens in their homes, so breakfast was usually eaten outside. Rome has many bakeries, taverns, and restaurants where people can get a cheap breakfast. By the time of the Roman Empire, bakers were improving and innovating milk bread, egg bread, pepper bread, grape bread, and so on. There were more styles to choose from.
Those who ate in the street could also pay for a glass of wine, although the ordinary people could only afford low-quality wine, and a little dried fruit would be a good breakfast.
The Romans do not spend much time on breakfast as they have a lot to do in the morning and are pressed for time.
The breakfast shop was probably next to a dried fruit shop, and a wide variety of fruit was available to the ancient Romans. According to statistics, there were over 40 kinds of figs and 32 kinds of apples alone, pears, plums and grapes, papayas, pomegranates, cherries, peaches, and olives. Of course, fresh fruit could not be kept for long, so many were dried, and the shop could sell them all year round.
Of course, there are also shops selling general household items. For example, the coppersmith’s workshop clinks all day long, the cloth shop owner is busy cutting clothes for his customers, the shoe merchant is articulate and selling his new goods, the pearl merchant is always watching the seemingly well-to-do passers-by, and the barber is trimming people’s hair. You could even buy carved ivory pieces from Africa in the streets.
Ancient Rome was known to be crowded, with narrow streets and many public areas packed with vendors. Just like modern commercial pedestrian streets, the streets were all lined with stalls, some of which had taken over the road, making it very difficult for pedestrians to move around.
So shopping in the cities of ancient Rome was not an easy task. Such a cluttered environment often led to complaints. Several emperors even ordered the city to be cleaned up, such as Tunisians, who tried to stop “barbers, shopkeepers, cooks, and butchers from occupying the streets.”
Cleaning up the city with so many people and businesses was difficult.
There were two famous markets in Rome, one for fruit and vegetables and one for livestock. The livestock market, for example, was a vast area full of livestock traders.
In the center of the market is a vast bronze bull, around which the traders have set up many corrals, temporary huts, and tents to do business permanently. As this was a livestock market, the customers were, of course, there to buy meat.
Unlike today’s slaughtered animals, there was little refrigeration to keep them fresh, so most of the livestock was life. The vendors would kill them on the spot, depending on the customer’s request and how hot the business was that day.
What kind of meat can you buy here?
You could take home a few live chickens, a freshly slaughtered lamb was famous, baby goat meat was a delicacy, and pork was the most common.
For most Romans, especially the wealthy ones. Wild boar, hares, porcupines, yellow deer, wild goats, and even turtles were famous.
Flying birds were also in demand, such as spot-tailed pigeons, wild geese, turtledoves, red storks, parrots, goldfinches, fire cranes, and you could even buy peacocks.
One of the main Roman cooking methods was boiling and roasting, and one of the games was very popular among the roasted meats. You can see stalls like this in livestock markets: there seems to be no blood here, and all laid out on the floor is a clay pot, which is a sleeping rat.
The Romans kept them in pots with grooves on the inside so that they could climb and move around in them. Once they had been fattened up, the vendors took them to the market with the pots. The Romans took them home, skinned and gutted them, and were ready to be put on the grill and seasoned.
Did the Romans eat beef? Of course, they did, but it was a luxury that the poor didn’t have much access to. During the Republic, the nobility would buy bulls for sacrifice, which were only eaten after the ritual, and the giblets had to be given to the priests beforehand.
Spices were a typical luxury in medieval Europe, but Romans could easily find spice shops near the meat markets. All sorts of spices in jars or bags filled the shops. Chilies, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and many more were brought to the city from all over the world to serve the tables of the Romans with delicious flavors.
Finally, we are going downstream to the Tiber to see the Roman warehouses of goods.
Goods or raw materials that needed to be brought in from all over the world were brought to the docks by merchant ships and then stored in large warehouses nearby. These warehouses, which could be hundreds of meters long, stored large quantities of grain, marble, wine, and olive oil.
Behind these warehouses was a small hill called Mount Testaceo – it was a vast rubbish heap where the Romans piled up the pieces of jars and bottles containing their goods. The large ‘rubbish heap,’ which can still be seen today, is about 37 meters high and is estimated to be made up of over 40 million pieces of wine bottles.
So, people living in Rome had access to goods from all over the world. Although many of these items were only available to the nobility, at least it proves that the benefits of the great military power of ancient Rome were evident everywhere.
Top 10 classic national parks in the world! Which one do you know besides Yellowstone?

Top 10 classic national parks in the world! Which one do you know besides Yellowstone?

Since the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in the USA in 1872, the concept of national parks has taken root in the USA and around the world. New national parks are being planned worldwide, with every inch of protected land representing progress for humankind to live in harmony with nature. China has also been gradually planning national parks recently, with 10 pilot sites already prepared and the first national parks scheduled to be realized by 2020.
Now, let’s look at some of the famous national parks around the world with their unique landscapes. From the welcoming grasslands of Africa to the towering glaciers of Patagonia, national parks across the globe not only protect unique natural environments and biodiversity but also offer visitors the chance to experience the wonders of the earth. Here are 10 of our favorite national parks.


1. Yellowstone National Park, USA
Yellowstone National Park was not only the world’s first national park but is also widely regarded as one of the best national parks in the world. Spanning the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone National Park covers an area of approximately 9,000 square kilometers. Known for unique geological wonders such as hot springs, steam pools, mud flats, and blowholes, more than half of the world’s active geysers are found here, including the famous Old Faithful Geyser. It is also home to bison, grizzly bears, moose, and wolves.
The park’s public facilities are well built, with more than 500 kilometers of ring roads linking all the major attractions in each area. The park also has a total of over 1,500 kilometers of hiking trails and more than a dozen campsites for camping.


2. Iguazu National Park, Brazil & Argentina
Iguazu National Park straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil and is accessible from both countries. The Iguazu Falls, 80 meters high and 2,700 meters wide, are located in the heart of the national park. The water vapor from the falls nourishes the surrounding vegetation. The park is a rare natural museum worldwide for its rich variety of plants, most notably the giant rosewood tree, which stands 40 meters high.
The forest is also home to South America’s iconic tapirs, giant otters, anteaters, howler monkeys, jaguars, and large crocodiles. Visitors can walk through the rainforest in addition to viewing the waterfalls.


3. Zion National Park, USA
Tucked away in the epic wilderness of southwestern Utah is the 593 square kilometer Zion National Park, of which Zion Canyon is the star attraction. In the 24km-long, 800m-deep Zion Canyon, you’ll find the iconic red sandstone cliffs. Many famous sights and hiking trails include Weeping Rock and Angel’s Descent.
The high season here is from April to October when shuttle buses take visitors to all the popular classics. Come in the low season, and you can explore the more remote areas of Zion National Park.


4. Swiss National Park, Switzerland
The Swiss National Park is the only national park in Switzerland and one of the first in Europe, established in 1914. It has always maintained strict rules to preserve the park’s pristine appearance. For example, hikers are forbidden to leave the officially defined hiking trails, there are no campsites, and they are closed in winter.
Although many restrictions exist, car and tour bus tours are allowed through the only road in the park. Visitors can still enjoy in-depth views of the Alps, flower-filled meadows, and animals such as wild goats and rock antelope.


5. Banff National Park, Canada
Banff National Park was Canada’s first national park, established in 1885. Its most famous calling card is the glacial lakes and the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. Just 130 kilometers west of Calgary, the vast Banff National Park is home to thousands of glaciers, Canada’s largest cave system, magnificent glacial lakes, and numerous hiking trails. The park is well equipped with modern lodges, caravans, and campgrounds.


6. Fjords National Park, New Zealand
The Fjords National Park, located on the southwestern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, bordering the Tasman Sea, covers 12,120 square kilometers and is one of the largest national parks in the world. A dozen glacier-carved fjords make up this national park, with rocky shores, cliffs, lakes, and waterfalls dotted throughout the park.
Explore the park’s waters to your heart’s content by boat, kayak, or scuba dive, and see dolphins, penguins, and seals from a safe distance. On land, you’ll find three of New Zealand’s official ‘Superb Walks’ along cascading waterfalls, majestic granite peaks, and crystal clear lakes.


7. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Located west of the Great Rift Valley in East Africa, Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park covers 25,063 square kilometers and is one of the largest national parks in the world and one of the oldest ecosystems on earth. Here you can see various large animals such as lions, elephants, and giraffes on the welcoming African grasslands. Still, there is nothing more fascinating about the park than the annual migration of more than one million hornbills and 200,000 zebras.
The Serengeti is the twilight full of mystery and infinite life, and the ever-present story of survival of the fittest makes this land so fascinating.


8. Five Fishing Villages National Park, Italy
More than the vast wilderness and elusive wildlife, the main feature of the Cinque Terre National Park is the five small colorful fishing villages scattered along the Mediterranean coastline. Although only 39 square kilometers, this small national park is rich in natural and cultural beauty, with rugged coastal hiking trails and quiet coves, as well as historic churches, villas, and monasteries. The Mediterranean atmosphere and unique human dimension give this small park a special significance.


9. Parque Nacional Baione, Chile
Located at the southern end of the Andes, in the middle of Patagonia, Parque Nacional Baiene is named after the huge blue granite that towers over the park. Its beautiful lakes, numerous glaciers, and towering granite peaks are world-famous, and its staggering mountains and transparent lakes attract visitors from all over the world.
It is a hiker’s paradise, with countless trails through the park’s glacial lakes and meadow flowers. It is also one of the world’s biosphere reserves, home to animals such as pumas, moose, and Andean vultures.


10. Lake District National Park, England
Located in Cumbria in the North West of England, the 16 sparkling lakes are one of its highlights, in addition to the highest Pennines in the UK, small, rural towns with simple folklore, and stretches of coastline. Not only is it a delightful landscape, but it also nurtures a rich cultural heritage that has kept the English literati coming back for more. The past seems to come to mind through some of the sculptural art, stone ruins, and historic houses. It is simply the perfect place to combine natural and human history.


10 world-famous tourist attractions you must visit: you will never regret

10 world-famous tourist attractions you must visit: you will never regret

As the world develops and technology advances, people increasingly like to get in touch with things abroad and see exotic places. Today we introduce you to a ranking of foreign tourist attractions listed as UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites and attract millions of visitors every year, with scenic spots that bring a sense of comfort to everyone.
10. Tasmania

Tasmania, located in Tasmania, is a natural and scenic paradise. Located about 240 kilometres south of Victoria in the South Pacific, Tasmania is Australia’s island nation and is considered the most sacred place on earth. An island that attracts many adventurers, a holiday destination where they can see wildlife and wilderness, pristine beaches, food and luxury for themselves, this is a fascinating island that leaves visitors with a memory to last a lifetime.


9. Lake Baikal

Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in Eurasia, located in the south-eastern part of Russia to the west of the Yablonvi Mountains. It covers an area of 31,494 square feet, and Baikal is also the deepest freshwater lake in the world, with a maximum depth of 1,620 metres. The lake, known as the ‘Pearl of Siberia’, is a major tourist attraction, with the must-see Okken Island located in the freshwater lake. Interestingly, Baikal has an unusual aquatic population, including Baikal seals, salmon and several rare animal species found only in Baikal.


8. Plitvice Park

The oldest national park in south-eastern Europe, Plitvice Park in Croatia, is an iconic natural feature of the country, which has been attracting visitors since the late 19th century and is a huge karst lake and waterfall. Plitvice Park is densely forested, mainly with beech, spruce and fir trees and a mixture of alpine and Mediterranean vegetation. These 16 interconnected lakes and complex forests separate this park, making it one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Europe.


7. Niagara Falls, USA

Niagara Falls are located on the border between the United States and Canada. The melting of the glaciers formed them after the last ice age. They are famous for their beauty and powerful water resources. Niagara Falls is a source of inspiration for explorers, travellers, writers, artists, residents and tourists. Visitors can visit its beauty at the observatory or take a boat trip. Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls Hotel are the perfect places to enjoy life.


6. Yellowstone National Park

The largest wilderness reserve in the United States covers 8,982 square kilometres in eastern Idaho, southern Montana and north-western Wyoming. Many visitors with different interests.


5.  Bali

Bali is a province of Indonesia, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, located 3.2 km east of Java, with an area of about 5,560 km2 and an altitude of 3,142 m. Bali has a dry mountainous coast with a rainy season on the southern plains, and its wildlife includes tigers and deer.
Bali is the country’s largest tourist destination. It is known for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalwork and music, and each year it attracts visitors with its rich culture and vibrant population.


4. Barbados

Barbados is the largest island in the Caribbean and a place full of caves, offering an experience for adventure lovers. The largest and most majestic cave in Barbados is Harrison’s Cave, a huge limestone cave with attractions, such as the Animal Flower Cave, which offers a wonderful view of animal flowers with interesting rock formations and rivers and waterfalls. This amazing destination and a holiday in the Caribbean will create an album full of memories for you.


3. Seychelles

The Republic of Seychelles is located in eastern Africa and has 115 scattered Indian Ocean islands. Seychelles attracts hundreds of curious tourists and honeymooners every year and shows the world how beautiful it is – a place you will fall in love at first sight. The natural beauty, the wildlife, the people and even the island weather are all enticing.


2.  Bora Bora

Bora Bora is located in the Leeward Islands group of the French Polynesian archipelago in the South Pacific. Bora Bora is about 225 kilometres northwest of Tahiti and is about 6 kilometres long and 4 kilometres wide. Bora Bora is a paradise on earth with its gorgeous velvety emerald green mountains, clear blue waters and white sandy beaches that many visitors love.


1. Gullfoss

Each season in Iceland has its unique charm and the opportunity to discover the beauty and enjoy the freshness and colour of nature. The Golden Falls are the most popular tourist attraction in Iceland. Two separate waterfalls in the southwest of the country present a breathtaking sight as if parts of it were frozen in winter, melting in spring and roaring in the summer twilight, depending on the Icelandic climate, at the time of your visit. The beauty of the many rainbows can be seen on the three steps of the river.