Rome, Italy Travel Guide | Best of Rome, Italy Tourism
Rome (Roma) is a city and special comune (named Roma Capitale) in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region. With 2.9 million residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country’s largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The Metropolitan City of Rome has a population of 4.3 million residents. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of Tiber river. The Vatican City is an independent country geographically located within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
Rome’s history spans more than two and a half thousand years. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at only around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. The city’s early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans and Sabines. Eventually, the city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization and by some as the first ever metropolis. It is referred to as “Roma Aeterna” (The Eternal City) and “Caput Mundi” (Capital of the World), two central notions in ancient Roman culture.
Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all the popes since Nicholas V (1422–55) pursued coherently along four hundred years an architectonic and urbanistic program aimed to make of the city the world’s artistic and cultural center. Due to that, Rome became first one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance, and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, sculptors and architects made Rome the center of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.
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