Rome is Italy’s capital, known as the Eternal city. Its iconic ruins include the Coliseum, an amphitheatre that seated thousands. Rome is also home to the Vatican.

Rome - The Eternal City

Buying a property in Rome is a life changing experience. Real estate in the centre of Rome can be expensive, but with two airports and guaranteed rental income Rome is popular with Italian property investors. In the famous hills that encircle Rome there are beautiful villas for sale in exclusive locations. From Rome you can easily reach beaches in summer, or ski resorts in winter. It takes a life time to see what Rome has to offer, and you will never see it all!

Trevi Fountain Rome Lazio italy

Although Rome has been the capital of Italy only since 1870, the Emperors of previous eras have often referred to it as caput mundi, 'capital of the world'. Also known as the Eternal City, Rome is continuously changing and growing. Rome, as an ancient city, offers a unique opportunity for on-site exploration of its historical art and architecture as well as continuous excavations that offer much more than just what one can find in a book. Whether you are in one its many parks, piazzas, monuments, or churches as a student in Rome you are sure to gain an intimate and distinctive understanding of Western History.

The City of Rome

trevi fountain Rome Lazio italy

Rome (Italian and Latin: Roma) is the capital of Italy and of its region, called Latium. It is located across the confluence of the Tiber and Aniene rivers. It was once the capital of the Roman Empire, the most powerful, largest and longest lasting empire of classical Western civilization. The Vatican, a sovereign enclave within Rome, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Pope.

Rome is the largest commune in Italy and it is also one of the largest European capital cities in land area, with an area of 1,285 square kilometers. The commune territory extends up to the Tyrrhenian Sea, with the district of Ostia, on the south-west, located on the shore.

Within the city limits, the population is about 2.5 million; almost 3.8 million live in the general area of Rome, as represented by the province of Rome, making it second in population to Milan. The city's history extends nearly 2,800 years, during which time it has been the seat of ancient Rome and, later, the Papal States, Kingdom of Italy and Italian Republic (modern Italy). Rome is also called "la Città Eterna" (the Eternal City), "l'Urbe" (the latin for the City pre-eminently) and "The City of the Seven Hills".

History of Rome

Colosseum Rome Lazio Italy

The civilization of ancient Rome originated in the 8th or 9th century BC, when the tribe of the Latini migrated to the Italian peninsula to settle around the River Tiber. For almost a thousand years, Rome was a very important city in the Western world and possibly the largest city in the world, with around 1.5 to 2 million inhabitants, as the capital of the expansive Roman Empire. With the rise of Christianity, Rome became the center of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the popes. The slow decline of the Roman Empire heralded the beginning of the Middle Ages, but the city regained prominence as the cultural capital of Western Roman Empire for several hundred years leading up to the Renaissance. Rome remains influential today, as the capital of Italy, as center of the Catholic Church, and as a major metropolis.

In Roman mythology, Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC by the twin descendants of the Trojan prince Aeneas, Romulus and Remus. Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over where their city was to be located and became the first of seven Kings of Rome, as well as the source of the city's name.

Central Rome is dominated by the traditional seven hills that hark back to the Latin founding myth of the city. These seven hills are the Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, Aventine, Capitoline, and Palatine Hills. The Tiber River and its islands are an important additional component of the city, flowing south through the western portion of the central zone.

Geographical Location and layout of Rome

Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome Lazio Italy

Rome is located on the Tiber River 15 miles (24 km) inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city was built on a defendeble hill dominating thelast high-banked river crossing where traverse was faciliated by a midstream isle. Much of Rome is located within the old city walls. The Servian Wall was built 12 years after Gauls' conquest of the city in 390 BC. The wall enclosed most of the Esquiline and Caelian Hill and contained the entire area of the other five. Rome grew beyond the Servian Wall but no more walls were constructed until AD 270 when Aurelian began building in brick-faced concrete. The wall is almost 12 miles long and was the wall Italian forces had to breach in 1870. The wall is still largely intact.

The ancient city within the walls covers about 4 percent of the modern municipality's 582 square miles. The old city is the smallest of Rome's 12 administrative zones. The walled city center is made up of 22 rioni (districts), sorrounding it are 35 quartieri urbani (urban sectors), and within the city limits are six large suburbi (suburbs). The commune of Rome located outside the municipal boundaries about doubles the area of the actual city.

A belt highway describes a huge circle around the capital about six miles out from the city center. The circle ties together the antique roads that led to Rome: the Via Flaminia, the Via Aurelia and Via Appia. Large amounts of modern apartment buildings are located in the districts outside the center, where contemporary architecture has not gone unnoticed. Many street frontages and show windows often change to keep up with the times and the Romans have suceeded in harmonizing the old and the new.

Though small, the old city center contains about 300 hotels and 300 pensioni, over 200 palaces, 20 churches, eight of Rome's major parks, the residence of the Italian president, the houses of the Parliament, offices of the city and city government, and many great and well-known monuments. The old city also contains thousands of workshops, offices, bars, and restaurants. Millions of tourists annually flock to this area.

Climate in Rome

Rome's climate is at its most comfortable from April through June or early July. By August, the temperature during the heat of the day often exceeds 35 degrees Celsius, 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Many businesses close during August, and Romans traditionally abandon the city for cooler climes. The average high temperature in December is about 13 degrees Celsius, 55 Fahrenheit, according to the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Weather Centre site.

Religion

Roman mythology constituted the major religion of the city in antiquity. However, other religions remained represented within its ever-changing boundaries, and Christianity soon spread. During his reign, Constantine I legalized Christianity. However, it was Theodosius II who made it the official religion of the Roman Empire (contrary to popular belief of it being Constantine I), allowing a rapid spread of the religion which similarly continued to spread thereafter. Rome was established as the center of the Catholic Church. Consequently, a great number of some of the most important religious buildings of Christianity were erected in the city.

Across the river Tiber from the old Roman Forum and its centers of pre-Christian worship is the Vatican City, an autonomous country inside the city and the center of Catholicism. There are currently over 900 churches in Rome, including many world famous locations, housing a wide collection of masterpieces of religious art.

In Rome there is also the largest mosque in Europe, designed by the Italian achitect Paolo Portoghesi and inaugurated on June 21st, 1995.

Architecture and monuments

Vatican city and the monuments of Rome Lazio Italy

Within the city of Rome there is a huge number of monuments and interesting ruins, both ancient and modern. A partial list is given here as a quick reference.

The ruins of the Mausoleum of Augustus.

The Medieaval Capocci Tower, near the church of San Martino ai Monti.

View over Rome from St. Peter's Basilica.

The Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps

Castel Sant'Angelo

Ara Pacis

Aurelian Walls

Baths of Caracalla

Baths of Diocletian

Bocca della Verità

Catacombs of Rome

Circus Maximus

Forum Romanum

Imperial forums

Colosseum

Curia Hostilia

Cloaca Maxima

Palatine Hill

Pantheon

Trajan's Column

Mausoleum of Augustus

Castel Sant'Angelo

Torre dei Conti

Torre delle Milizie

Vatican City The city of Rome surrounds the Vatican City, the enclave of the Holy See, which is a separate sovereign state.

Events

Roma Sana April: Mediterranean Trade Fair for Natural Products with exhibitions of biological products, conferences and tasting.

Roman Summers, from June to September: Various events from music to theater, literary meetings and cinema. Events that take place in the most characteristic places in Rome that attract the participation of thousands of artists from all over the world.

Roma Europa Festival, September: Annual appointment for modern art and theatre, music and dance, with artists from of all Europe.

RomeFilmFest, October: Film Festival help in the Auditorium.

Festival Romics, October: Comics and Cartoon Festival: exhibitions, cartoon film showings of designers and publishing companies.

Roma Jazz Festival, October: Festival of jazz music since of 1876. Italian and international artists gather at various venues for the eclectic Rome Jazz Festival.

Republic day - June, 2: Military parade on Via dei Fori Imperiali, with "Frecce Tricolori".

Rome’s Good Friday Procession in April. On Good Friday, a procession moves from the Via Crucis, from the Colosseum and up Monte Palatino, re-enacting the 14 stations of the cross from the death of Jesus to placement of his body in the tomb.

Literature Festival, from May to June: Readings of works of famous contemporary writers, accompanied by music, in the setting of Basilica di Massenzio.

International Urban Theatre Festival: In September, the Festival Internazionale del Teatreo Urbano that transforms Rome into an urban theatrical stage.

Roman Jewish holiday, the Mo'ed di Piombo, stems from 1793 (5553 in the Hebrew calendar). Rome's Jewish Temple is illuminated at night as the rabbi explains the meaning underscoring the celebration.

White Night Series of events at venues throughout Rome in September: concerts, special outdoor performances, churches and monuments open to the public at this time, museums open all night with free entrance, shops open all night.

Transportation

The transportation era was started in Rome with the construction of the Via Appia, regina viarum ("queen of the roads"). Rome has an intercontinental airport named Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport - FCO, but more commonly known as Fiumicino, which also is Italy's chief airport, and the Giovan-Battista Pastine international airport (commonly referred to as Ciampino Airport), a joint civilian and military airport southeast of the city-center, along the Via Appia, which handles mainly charter flights and regional European flights including some low-cost airlines. A third airport, called Aeroporto dell'Urbe, is located in the north of the city along the ancient Via Salaria and handles mainly helicopters and private flights. A fourth airport, called Aeroporto di Centocelle, in the eastern part of Rome between the Via Prenestina and the Via Casilina, has been abandoned for some years now, but is currently being redeveloped as one of the largest public parks in Rome.

A 2-line subway system operates in Rome called the "Metropolitana" or Rome Metro. Construction works for the first branch started in the 1930s. The line had been planned to quickly connect the main train station (Termini) with the newly planned E42 area in the southern suburbs, where the 1942 World Fair was supposed to be held. The event never took place because of war. The area was later partly redesigned and renamed EUR in the 1950s to serve as a modern business district. The line was finally opened in 1955 and it is now part of the B Line. The A line opened in 1980 from Ottaviano to Anagnina stations, later extended in stages (1999 - 2000) to Battistini. In the 1990s an extension of the B line was opened from Termini to Rebibbia. A new branch of the B line (B1) is under construction, as is a third line, called C. A fourth line, line D, is under development. The frequent archaeological findings delay underground work.

This underground network is generally reliable (although it may become very congested at peak times and during events, especially the A line) as it is relatively short. As of 2005, total length is 38 km. The two existing lines, A & B, only intersect at one point, Termini Station, the main train station in Rome (which also is the largest train station in Europe[citation needed], underneath and around which now exists as a lively shopping center known as the "Forum Termini" with more than 100 shops of various types). Other stations includes: Tiburtina (second-largest, which is currently being redeveloped and enlarged to become the main high-speed train hub in the city), Ostiense, Trastevere, Tuscolana, S. Pietro, Casilina, Torricola.

The Rome Metro

The Rome Metro is part of an extensive transport network made of a tramway network, several suburban and urban lines in and around the city of Rome, plus an "express line" to Fiumicino Airport. Whereas most FS-Regionale lines (Regional State Railways) do provide mostly a suburban service with more than 20 stations scattered throughout the city, the Roma-Lido (starting at Ostiense station), the Roma-Pantano (starting nearby Termini) and the Roma-Nord (starting at Flaminio station) lines offer a metro-like service.

Rome also has a comprehensive bus and light rail system. The English web site of the ATAC public transportation company allows a route to be calculated using the buses, light rail and subways. The Metrebus integrated fare system allows holders of tickets and integrated passes to travel on all companies vehicles, within the validity time of the ticket purchased.

Chronic congestion caused by cars during the 1970s and 1980s led to the banning of unauthorized traffic from the central part of city during workdays from 6 am to 6 pm. This area is officially called Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL). Heavy traffic due to night-life crowds during weekends led in recent years to the creation of other ZTLs in the Trastevere and S. Lorenzo districts during the night, and to experimentation with a new night ZTL also in the city center (plans to create a night ZTL in the Testaccio district as well are underway). In recent years, parking spaces along the streets in wide areas of the city have been converted to pay parking, as new underground parking spread throughout the city. In spite of all these measures, traffic remains an unsolved problem, as in most of the world's cities.

Rome is the capital of a province, with an area of 5,352.6 km², and a total population of 3,700,424 (2001) in 120 comuni. The province can be viewed as the extended metropolitan area of the town of Rome, although in its more peripheral portions, especially to the north, it comprises towns surrounded by firmly rural landscape, just as towns elsewhere throughout Italy.

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