Rome (Latin and Italian: Roma [ˈroːma] (listen)) is the capital city and a special comune of Italy (named Comune di Roma Capitale). Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City (the smallest country in the world) is an independent country inside 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 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at 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 by some as the first ever metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City (Latin: Urbs Aeterna; Italian: La Città Eterna) by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, and the expression was also taken up by Ovid, Virgil, and Livy. Rome is also called the "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome slowly fell under the political control of the Papacy, and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all the popes since Nicholas V (1447–1455) pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, sculptors and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic.
Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in the world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The city also hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p.A., and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL. Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and financial services. Rome is also an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies.
Coat of arms
The Eternal City, Capital of the World, Throne of St. Peter
The territory of the comune (Roma Capitale, in red) inside the Metropolitan City of Rome (Città Metropolitana di Roma, in yellow). The white area in the centre is Vatican City.
Location within Italy
Location within Europe
|• Type||Special Comune ("Roma Capitale")|
|• Body||Rome City Council|
|• Mayor||Virginia Raggi (M5S)|
|• Total||1,285 km2 (496.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||21 m (69 ft)|
(30 April 2018)
|• Rank||1st, Italy (4th in EU)|
|• Density||2,236/km2 (5,790/sq mi)|
|• Metropolitan City||4,355,725|
|Demonym(s)||Italian: romano (masculine), romana (feminine)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
00100; 00118 to 00199
|Website||Comune di Roma|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Official name||Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura|
|Inscription||1980 (4th Session)|
|Area||1,431 ha (3,540 acres)|
According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus.
However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was actually derived from Rome itself. As early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain:
There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from approximately 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites. Evidence of stone tools, pottery, and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village (on the Capitol Hill, a village is attested since the end of the 14th century BC). However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed gradually through the aggregation ("synoecism") of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine. This aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which also allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy (mainly Ischia and Cumae). These developments, which according to archaeological evidence took place during the mid-eighth century BC, can be considered as the "birth" of the city. Despite recent excavations at the Palatine hill, the view that Rome was founded deliberately in the middle of the eighth century BC, as the legend of Romulus suggests, remains a fringe hypothesis.
Traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans themselves explain the earliest history of their city in terms of legend and myth. The most familiar of these myths, and perhaps the most famous of all Roman myths, is the story of Romulus and Remus, the twins who were suckled by a she-wolf. They decided to build a city, but after an argument, Romulus killed his brother and the city took his name. According to the Roman annalists, this happened on 21 April 753 BC. This legend had to be reconciled with a dual tradition, set earlier in time, that had the Trojan refugee Aeneas escape to Italy and found the line of Romans through his son Iulus, the namesake of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. This was accomplished by the Roman poet Virgil in the first century BC. In addition, Strabo mentions an older story, that the city was an Arcadian colony founded by Evander. Strabo also writes that Lucius Coelius Antipater believe that Rome was founded by Greeks.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus writes that the people who came to the lands that later became the city of Rome were first, the Aborigines, who drove the Sicels out of these lands, and were from the Arcadia, then the Pelasgians, who came from Thessaly, third those who came to Italy with Evander from the city of Pallantium in Arcadia, after them the Epeans from Elis and Pheneats from Pheneus, who were part of the army commanded by Heracles who decided to stay there while they were returning from the expedition at the Erytheia, with whom a Trojan element also was commingled and last of all, the Trojans who had escaped with Aeneas from Ilium, Dardanus and the other Trojan cities. Dionysius mention that the Trojans, were also Greek people who were originally from the Peloponnesus. He also adds that even Romans say that the Pallantium was founded by Greeks from Pallantium of Arcadia, about sixtieth years before the Trojan war and the leader was Evander. Later at the sixteenth generation after the Trojan war the Albans united all these places into one settlement, surrounding them with a wall and a ditch. The Albans were a mixed nation composed of all the above people. Dionysius, also adds that it is possibly that a barbarian element from among the neighboring people or a remnant of the ancient inhabitants of the place were mixed with the Greek. But all these people, having lost their national identity came to be called by one common name, Latins, after Latinus, who had been the king of the country. The leaders of the colony were the twin brothers Romulus and Remus.
After the legendary foundation by Romulus, Rome was ruled for a period of 244 years by a monarchical system, initially with sovereigns of Latin and Sabine origin, later by Etruscan kings. The tradition handed down seven kings: Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius and Tarquinius Superbus.
In 509 BC, the Romans expelled the last king from their city and established an oligarchic republic. Rome then began a period characterized by internal struggles between patricians (aristocrats) and plebeians (small landowners), and by constant warfare against the populations of central Italy: Etruscans, Latins, Volsci, Aequi, Marsi. After becoming master of Latium, Rome led several wars (against the Gauls, Osci-Samnites and the Greek colony of Taranto, allied with Pyrrhus, king of Epirus) whose result was the conquest of the Italian peninsula, from the central area up to Magna Graecia.
The third and second century BC saw the establishment of Roman hegemony over the Mediterranean and the East, through the three Punic Wars (264–146 BC) fought against the city of Carthage and the three Macedonian Wars (212–168 BC) against Macedonia. Then were established the first Roman provinces: Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, Hispania, Macedonia, Achaea and Africa.
From the beginning of the 2nd century BC, power was contested between two groups of aristocrats: the optimates, representing the conservative part of the Senate, and the populares, which relied on the help of the plebs (urban lower class) to gain power. In the same period, the bankruptcy of the small farmers and the establishment of large slave estates provoked the migration to the city of a large number of people. The continuous warfare made necessary a professional army, which was more loyal to its generals than to the republic. Because of this, in the second half of the second century and during the first century BC there were conflicts both abroad and internally: after the failed attempt of social reform of the populares Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, and the war against Jugurtha, there was a first civil war between Gaius Marius and Sulla. To this followed a major slave revolt under Spartacus, and then the establishment of the first Triumvirate with Caesar, Pompey and Crassus.
The conquest of Gaul made Caesar immensely powerful and popular, which led to a second civil war against the Senate and Pompey. After his victory, Caesar established himself as dictator for life. His assassination led to a second Triumvirate among Octavian (Caesar's grandnephew and heir), Mark Antony and Lepidus, and to another civil war between Octavian and Antony. The former in 27 BC became princeps civitatis and got the title of Augustus, founding the principate, a diarchy between the princeps and the senate. Rome was established as a de facto empire, which reached its greatest expansion in the second century under the Emperor Trajan. Rome was confirmed as caput Mundi, i.e. the capital of the world, an expression which had already been given in the Republican period. During its first two centuries, the empire saw as rulers, emperors of the Julio-Claudian, Flavian (who also built eponymous amphitheatre, known as the Colosseum) and Antonine dynasties. This time was also characterised by the spread of the Christian religion, preached by Jesus Christ in Judea in the first half of the first century (under Tiberius) and popularized by his apostles through the empire and beyond. The Antonine age is considered the apogee of the Empire, whose territory ranged from the Atlantic Ocean to the Euphrates and from Britain to Egypt.
After the end of the Severan Dynasty in 235, the Empire entered into 50-year period known as the Crisis of the Third Century during which there were numerous putsches by generals, who sought to secure the region of the empire they were entrusted with due to the weakness of central authority in Rome. There was the so-called Gallic Empire from 260-274 and the revolts of Zenobia and her father from the mid-260s which sought to fend off Persian incursions. Some regions – Britain, Spain, and North Africa – were hardly affected. Instability caused economic deterioration, and there was a rapid rise in inflation as the government debased the currency in order to meet expenses. The Germanic tribes along the Rhine and north of the Balkans made serious, uncoordinated incursions from the 250s-280s that were more like giant raiding parties rather than attempts to settle. The Persian Empire in the East invaded several times during the 230s to 260s but were eventually defeated. Emperor Diocletian (284) undertook the restoration of the State. He ended the Principate and introduced the so-called dominate which tried to give the impression of absolute power. The most marked feature was the unprecedented intervention of the State down to the city level: whereas the State had submitted a tax demand to a city and allowed it to allocate the charges, from his reign the State did this down to the village level. In a vain attempt to control inflation, he imposed price controls which did not last. He or Constantine regionalized the administration of the empire which fundamentally changed the way it was governed by creating regional dioceses (the consensus seems to have shifted from 297 to 313/14 as the date of creation due to the argument of Constantin Zuckerman in 2002 "Sur la liste de Verone et la province de grande armenie, Melanges Gilber Dagron). The existence of regional fiscal units from 286 served as the model for this unprecedented innovation. The emperor quickened the process of removing military command from governors. Henceforth, civilian administration and military command would be separate. He gave governors more fiscal duties and placed them in charge of the army logistical support system as an attempt to control it by removing the support system from its control. Diocletian ruled the eastern half (with residence in Nicomedia). In 296, he elevated Maximian as Augustus of the western half where he ruled mostly from Mediolanum (Current day Milan) when not on the move. In 292, he created two 'junior' emperors, the Caesars, one for each Augustus, Constantius for Britain, Gaul, and Spain whose seat of power was in Trier and Licinius in Srimium in the Balkans. The appointment of a Caesar was not unknown: Diocletian tried to turn into a system of non-dynastic succession. Upon abdication in 305, Caesars succeeded and they in turn appointed two colleagues for themselves.
After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian in 305 and a series of civil wars between rival claimants to imperial power, during the years 306–313, the Tetrarchy was abandoned. Constantine the Great undertook a major reform of the bureaucracy, not by changing the structure but by rationalizing the competencies of the several ministries during the years 325–330, after he defeated Licinius, emperor in the East, at the end of 324.The so-called Edict of Milan of 313, actually a fragment of a Letter from Licinius to the governors of the eastern provinces, granted freedom of worship to everyone, including to Christians, and ordered the restoration of confiscated church properties upon petition to the newly created vicars of dioceses. He funded the building of several churches and allowed clergy to act as arbitrators in civil suits (a measure that did not outlast him but which was restored in part much later). He transformed the town of Byzantium into his new residence, which however, was not officially anything more than an imperial residence like Milan or Trier or Nicomedia until given a city prefect in May 359 by Constantius II; Constantinople. The creation of Constantinople would have a profound effect on Europe: it was the bulwark against invasion and conquest from the East for roughly 1,000 years.
Christianity in the form of the Nicene Creed became the official religion of the empire in 380, via the Edict of Thessalonica issued in the name of three emperors – Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I – with Theodosius clearly the driving force behind it. He was the last emperor of a unified empire: after his death in 395, his sons, Arcadius and Honorius divided the empire into a western and an eastern part. The seat of government in the Western Roman Empire was transferred to Ravenna after the Siege of Milan in 402. During the 5th century, the emperors from the 430s mostly resided in the capital city, Rome.
Rome, which had lost its central role in the administration of the empire, was sacked in 410 by the Visigoths led by Alaric I, but very little physical damage was done, most of which was repaired. What could not be so easily replaced were portable items such as art work in precious metals and items for domestic use (loot). The popes embellished the city with large basilicas, such as Santa Maria Maggiore (with the collaboration of the emperors). The population of the city had fallen from 800,000 to 450–500,000 by the time the city was sacked in 455 by Genseric, king of the Vandals. The weak emperors of the fifth century could not stop the decay, leading to the deposition of Romulus Augustus on 22 August 476, which marked the end of the Western Roman Empire and, for many historians, the beginning of the Middle Ages. The decline of the city's population was caused by the loss of grain shipments from North Africa, from 440 onward, and the unwillingness of the senatorial class to maintain donations to support a population that was too large for the resources available. Even so, strenuous efforts were made to maintain the monumental centre, the palatine, and the largest baths, which continued to function until the Gothic siege of 537. The large baths of Constantine on the Quirinale were even repaired in 443; and the extent of the damage exaggerated and dramatized (according to "Rome, An Urban History from Antiquity to the Present", Rabun Taylor, Katherine W. Rinne and Spiro Kostof, 2016 pp. 160–179). However, the city gave an appearance overall of shabbiness and decay because of the large abandoned areas due to population decline. Population declined to 500,000 by 452 and 100,000 by 500 AD (perhaps larger, though no certain figure can be known). After the Gothic siege of 537, population dropped to 30,000, but had risen to 90,000 by the papacy of Gregory the Great. ("Rome, Profile of a City": 321–1308, Richard Krautheimer, p. 165.). The population decline coincided with the general collapse of urban life in the West in the 5th and 6th centuries, with few exceptions. Subsidized state grain distributions to the poorer members of society continued right through the 6th century and probably prevented the population from falling further ("Rome, Urban History", pp. 184–185.) The figure of 450,000–500,000 is based on the amount of pork, 3,629,000 lbs. distributed to poorer Romans during five winter months at the rate of 5 Roman lbs per person per month, enough for 145,000 persons or 1/4 or 1/3 of the total population. (Novel 36, 2, Emperor Valeninian III). Grain distribution to 80,000 ticket holders at the same time suggests 400,000 (Augustus set the number at 200,000 or one-fifth of the population).
The Bishop of Rome, called the Pope, was important since the early days of Christianity because of the martyrdom of both the apostles Peter and Paul there. The Bishops of Rome were also seen (and still are seen by Catholics) as the successors of Peter, who is considered the first Bishop of Rome. The city thus became of increasing importance as the centre of the Catholic Church. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Rome was first under the control of Odoacer and then became part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom before returning to East Roman control after the Gothic War, which devastated the city. Its population declined from more than a million in 210 AD to 500,000 in 273 to 35,000 after the Gothic War (535–554), reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins, vegetation, vineyards and market gardens. It is generally thought the population of the city until 300 AD was 1 million (estimates range from 2 million to 750,000) declining to 750–800,000 in 400 AD, 450–500,000 in 450 AD and down to 80–100,000 in 500 AD (though it may have been twice this).
After the Lombard invasion of Italy, the city remained nominally Byzantine, but in reality the popes pursued a policy of equilibrium between the Byzantines, the Franks, and the Lombards. In 729, the Lombard king Liutprand donated to the church the north Latium town of Sutri, starting the temporal power of the church. In 756, Pepin the Short, after having defeated the Lombards, gave to the Pope temporal jurisdiction over the Roman Duchy and the Exarchate of Ravenna, thus creating the Papal States. Since this period, three powers tried to rule the city: the pope; the nobility, together with the chiefs of militias, the judges, the Senate and the populace; and the Frankish king, as king of the Lombards, patricius, and Emperor. These three parties (theocratic, republican, and imperial) were a characteristic of Roman life during the entire Middle Ages. On the Christmas night of 800, Charlemagne was crowned in Rome as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III: on that occasion the city hosted for the first time the two powers whose struggle for the universal power was to be a constant of the Middle Ages.
In 846, Muslim Arabs unsuccessfully stormed the city's walls, but managed to loot St. Peter's and St. Paul's basilica, both outside the city wall. After the decay of Carolingian power, Rome fell prey to feudal anarchy: several noble families kept fighting against the pope, the emperor, and each other. These were the times of Theodora and her daughter Marozia, concubines and mothers of several popes, and of Crescentius, a powerful feudal lord, who fought against the Emperors Otto II and III. The scandals of this period pushed the papacy to reform itself: the election of the pope was reserved to the cardinals, and a reform of the clergy was attempted. The driving force behind this renewal was the monk Ildebrando da Soana, who once elected pope under the name of Gregory VII became involved into the Investiture Controversy against Emperor Henry IV. Subsequently, Rome was sacked and burned by the Normans of Robert Guiscard who had entered the city in support of the Pope, who was besieged in Castel S. Angelo.
During this period, the city was autonomously ruled by a senatore or patrizio: in the 12th century. This administration, as often in the Italian cities, evolved into the commune, a new form of social organisation, expression of the new wealthy classes. Pope Lucius II had already to fight against the Roman commune, and the struggle was continued by his successor pope Eugenius III: then the commune, allied with the nobility, was supported by Arnaldo da Brescia, a monk who was a religious and social reformer. After the pope's death, Arnaldo was taken prisoner by Adrianus IV, which marked the end of the comune's autonomy. Under Pope Innocent III, whose reign marked the apogee of the papacy, the commune liquidated the senate, and replaced it with a Senatore, who was subject to the pope.
In 1266, Charles of Anjou, who was heading south to fight the Hohenstaufen on behalf of the pope, was appointed Senator. Charles founded the Sapienza, the university of Rome. In that period the pope died, and the cardinals, summoned in Viterbo, could not agree on his successor: the people of the city, angered, unroofed the building where they had met, imprisoning them until they had nominated the new pope: this happening marked the birth of the conclave. In this period the city was also shattered by continuous fights among the noble families: Annibaldi, Caetani, Colonna, Orsini, Conti, nested in their fortresses built above ancient Roman edifices, fought each other to control the papacy.
Pope Boniface VIII, born Caetani, was the last pope to fight for the church's universal domain: he proclaimed a crusade against the Colonna and, in 1300, called for the first Jubilee of Christianity, which brought to Rome millions of pilgrims. However, his hopes were crushed by the French king Philip the Fair, who took him prisoner and slashed him in Anagni, causing his death. Afterwards, a new pope faithful to the French was elected, and the papacy was briefly relocated to Avignon (1309–1377). During this period the city was neglected, until the power fell in the hand of a plebeian man, Cola di Rienzo. An idealist and a lover of ancient Rome, Cola dreamed about a rebirth of the Roman Empire: after assuming the power with the title of Tribuno, his reforms were rejected by the populace. Forced to flee, Cola could come back among the suite of cardinal Albornoz, in charge of restoring the church power in Italy. Back in power for a short time, he was lynched by the populace, and Albornoz could take possession of the city, that, in 1377, under Gregory XI, became again the seat of the papacy. The return of the pope to Rome in that year unleashed the western Schism (1377–1418), and during the next forty years, the city was prey of the fights which shattered the church.
In 1418, the Council of Constance settled the Western Schism, and a Roman pope, Martin V, was elected. This brought to Rome a century of internal peace, which marked the beginning of the Renaissance. The ruling popes until the first half of the 16th century, from Nicholas V, founder of the Vatican Library, to Pius II, humanist and literate, from Sixtus IV, a warrior pope, to Alexander VI, immoral and nepotist, from Julius II, soldier and patron, to Leo X, who gave his name to this period ("the century of Leo X"), all devoted their energy to the greatness and the beauty of the Eternal City, to the power of their stock, and to the patronage of the arts.
During those years, the centre of the Italian Renaissance moved to Rome from Florence. Majestic works, as the new Saint Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and Ponte Sisto (the first bridge to be built across the Tiber since antiquity, although on Roman foundation) were created. To accomplish that, the Popes engaged the best artists of the time, including Michelangelo, Perugino, Raphael, Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli, Botticelli, and Cosimo Rosselli.
The period was also infamous for papal corruption, with many Popes fathering children, and engaging in nepotism and simony. The corruption of the Popes and the huge expenses for their building projects led, in part, to the Reformation and, in turn, the Counter-Reformation. Alexander VI, for example, was well known for his decadence, extravagance and immoral life. Under extravagant and rich popes, Rome was transformed into a centre of art, poetry, music, literature, education and culture. Rome became able to compete with other major European cities of the time in terms of wealth, grandeur, the arts, learning and architecture.
The Renaissance period changed the face of Rome dramatically, with works like the Pietà by Michelangelo and the frescoes of the Borgia Apartments. Rome reached the highest point of splendour under Pope Julius II (1503–1513) and his successors Leo X and Clement VII, both members of the Medici family.
In this twenty-year period, Rome became one of the greatest centres of art in the world. The old St. Peter's Basilica built by Emperor Constantine the Great (which by then was in a dilapidated state) was demolished and a new one begun. The city hosted artists like Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli and Bramante, who built the temple of San Pietro in Montorio and planned a great project to renovate the Vatican. Raphael, who in Rome became one of the most famous painters of Italy, created frescoes in the Villa Farnesina, the Raphael's Rooms, plus many other famous paintings. Michelangelo started the decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and executed the famous statue of the Moses for the tomb of Julius II. Rome lost in part its religious character, becoming increasingly a true Renaissance city, with a great number of popular feasts, horse races, parties, intrigues and licentious episodes.
Its economy was rich, with the presence of several Tuscan bankers, including Agostino Chigi, who was a friend of Raphael and a patron of arts. Before his early death, Raphael also promoted for the first time the preservation of the ancient ruins. The fight between France and Spain in Europe caused the first plunder of the city in less than five hundred years after the previous sack. In 1527, the Landsknechts of Emperor Charles V sacked the city, putting to an abrupt end the golden age of the Renaissance in Rome.
Beginning with the Council of Trent in 1545, the Church began the Counter-Reformation as an answer to the Reformation, a large-scale questioning of the Church's authority on spiritual matters and governmental affairs. (This loss of confidence then led to major shifts of power away from the Church.) Under the popes from Pius IV to Sixtus V, Rome became the centre of the reformed Catholicism and saw the instalment of new monuments which celebrated the papacy's restored greatness. The popes and cardinals of the 17th and early 18th centuries continued the movement by having the city's landscape enriched with baroque buildings.
This was another nepotistic age: the new noble families (Barberini, Pamphili, Chigi, Rospigliosi, Altieri, Odescalchi) were protected by their respective popes, who built for their relatives huge baroque buildings. During the Age of Enlightenment, new ideas reached also the Eternal City, where the papacy supported archaeological studies and improved the people's welfare. But not everything went well for the Church during the Counter-Reformation. There were setbacks in the attempts to restrain the anti-Church policies of European powers of the time, the most notable setback perhaps being in 1773 when Pope Clement XIV was forced by secular powers to have the Jesuit order suppressed.
The rule of the Popes was interrupted by the short-lived Roman Republic (1798–1800), which was built under the influence of the French Revolution. The Papal States were restored in June 1800, but during Napoleon's reign Rome was annexed as a Département of the French Empire: first as Département du Tibre (1808–1810) and then as Département Rome (1810–1814). After the fall of Napoleon, the Church State under the pope was reinstated by decision of the Congress of Vienna of 1814.
In 1849, a second Roman Republic was proclaimed during a year of revolutions in 1848. Two of the most influential figures of the Italian unification, Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi, fought for the short-lived republic.
Rome then became the focus of hopes of Italian reunification after the rest of Italy was united as the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 with the temporary capital in Florence. That year Rome was declared capital of Italy even though it was still under the Pope's control. During the 1860s, the last vestiges of the Papal States were under French protection thanks to the foreign policy of Napoleon III. French troops were stationed in the region under Papal control. in !870 the French troops were withdrawn due to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Italian troops were able to capture Rome entering the city through a breach near Porta Pia. Pope Pius IX declared himself a prisoner in the Vatican. In 1871 the capital of Italy was moved from Florence to Rome. In 1870 the population of the city was 212,000, not all of whom lived with the area circumscribed by the ancient city walls of which 25% was built up; and in 1920, the population was 660,00, 75% within the walls was built up - however a significant portion lived outside the walls in the north and across the Tiber in the Vatican area.
Soon after World War I in late 1922 Rome witnessed the rise of Italian Fascism led by Benito Mussolini, who led a marched on the city. He did away with democracy by 1926 eventually declaring a new Italian Empire and allying Italy with Nazi Germany in 1938. Mussolini pulled demolished fairly large parts of the city center around the Capitol in order to build wide avenues and squares which were supposed to celebrate the fascist regime and the resurgence and glorification of classical Rome. The interwar period saw a rapid growth in the city's population which surpassed one million inhabitants soon after 1930. During World War II, due to the art treasuries and the presence of the Vatican, Rome largely escaped the tragic destiny of other European cities. However, on 19 July 1943 the San Lorenzo district was bombed by Anglo-American forces, resulting in about 3,000 immediate deaths and 11,000 wounded of whom another 1,500 died. Mussolini was dismissed July 25. On the date of the Italian Armistice 8 September 1943 the city was occupied by the Germans. The Pope declared Rome an open city. It was liberated on June 4, 1944.
Rome developed greatly after the war as part of the "Italian economic miracle" of post-war reconstruction and modernisation in the 1950s and early 1960s. During this period, the years of la dolce vita ("the sweet life"), Rome became a fashionable city, with popular classic films such as Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita filmed in the city's iconic Cinecittà film studios. The rising trend in population growth continued until the mid-1980s, when the comune had more than 2.8 million residents. After that, population started to decline slowly as inhabitants began to move to nearby suburbs of Rome.
Rome constitutes a comune speciale, named "Roma Capitale", and is the largest both in terms of land area and population among the 8,101 comuni of Italy. It is governed by a mayor and a city council. The seat of the comune is the Palazzo Senatorio on the Capitoline Hill, the historic seat of the city government. The local administration in Rome is commonly referred to as "Campidoglio", the Italian name of the hill.
Since 1972, the city has been divided into administrative areas, called municipi (sing. municipio) (until 2001 named circoscrizioni). They were created for administrative reasons to increase decentralisation in the city. Each municipio is governed by a president and a council of twenty-five members who are elected by its residents every five years. The municipi frequently cross the boundaries of the traditional, non-administrative divisions of the city.
The municipi were originally 20, then 19. In 2013, their number has been reduced to 15.
These originate from the Regiones of ancient Rome, which evolved in the Middle Ages into the medieval rioni. In the Renaissance, under Pope Sixtus V, they reached again the number of fourteen, and their boundaries were finally defined under Pope Benedict XIV in 1743.
A new subdivision of the city under Napoleon was ephemeral, and there were no sensible changes in the organisation of the city until 1870, when Rome became the third capital of Italy. The needs of the new capital led to an explosion both in the urbanisation and in the population within and outside the Aurelian walls. In 1874, a fifteenth rione, Esquilino, was created on the newly urbanised zone of Monti. At the beginning of the 20th century other rioni where created (the last one was Prati – the only one outside the Walls of Pope Urban VIII – in 1921). Afterward, for the new administrative subdivisions of the city the name "quartiere" was used. Today all the rioni are part of the first Municipio, which therefore coincides completely with the historical city (Centro Storico).
Rome is the principal town of the Metropolitan City of Rome, operative since 1 January 2015. The Metropolitan City replaced the old province, which included the city's metropolitan area and extends further north until Civitavecchia. The Metropolitan City of Rome is the largest by area in Italy. At 5,352 square kilometres (2,066 sq mi), its dimensions are comparable to the region of Liguria. Moreover, the city is also the capital of the Lazio region.
Rome is the national capital of Italy and is the seat of the Italian Government. The official residences of the President of the Italian Republic and the Italian Prime Minister, the seats of both houses of the Italian Parliament and that of the Italian Constitutional Court are located in the historic centre. The state ministries are spread out around the city; these include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is located in Palazzo della Farnesina near the Olympic stadium.
Rome is in the Lazio region of central Italy on the Tiber (Italian: Tevere) river. The original settlement developed on hills that faced onto a ford beside the Tiber Island, the only natural ford of the river in this area. The Rome of the Kings was built on seven hills: the Aventine Hill, the Caelian Hill, the Capitoline Hill, the Esquiline Hill, the Palatine Hill, the Quirinal Hill, and the Viminal Hill. Modern Rome is also crossed by another river, the Aniene, which flows into the Tiber north of the historic centre.
Although the city centre is about 24 kilometres (15 mi) inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the city territory extends to the shore, where the south-western district of Ostia is located. The altitude of the central part of Rome ranges from 13 metres (43 ft) above sea level (at the base of the Pantheon) to 139 metres (456 ft) above sea level (the peak of Monte Mario). The Comune of Rome covers an overall area of about 1,285 square kilometres (496 sq mi), including many green areas.
Throughout the history of Rome, the urban limits of the city were considered to be the area within the city's walls. Originally, these consisted of the Servian Wall, which was built twelve years after the Gaulish sack of the city in 390 BC. This contained most of the Esquiline and Caelian hills, as well as the whole of the other five. Rome outgrew the Servian Wall, but no more walls were constructed until almost 700 years later, when, in 270 AD, Emperor Aurelian began building the Aurelian Walls. These were almost 19 kilometres (12 mi) long, and were still the walls the troops of the Kingdom of Italy had to breach to enter the city in 1870. The city's urban area is cut in two by its ring-road, the Grande Raccordo Anulare ("GRA"), finished in 1962, which circles the city centre at a distance of about 10 km (6 mi). Although when the ring was completed most part of the inhabited area lay inside it (one of the few exceptions was the former village of Ostia, which lies along the Tyrrhenian coast), in the meantime quarters have been built which extend up to 20 km (12 mi) beyond it.
The comune covers an area roughly three times the total area within the Raccordo and is comparable in area to the entire metropolitan cities of Milan and Naples, and to an area six times the size of the territory of these cities. It also includes considerable areas of abandoned marsh land which is suitable neither for agriculture nor for urban development.
As a consequence, the density of the comune is not that high, its territory being divided between highly urbanised areas and areas designated as parks, nature reserves, and for agricultural use.
Its average annual temperature is above 20 °C (68 °F) during the day and 10 °C (50 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the average temperature is 12 °C (54 °F) during the day and 3 °C (37 °F) at night. In the warmest months, July and August, the average temperature is 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and 18 °C (64 °F) at night.
December, January and February are the coldest months, with a daily mean temperature of 8 °C (46 °F).Temperatures during these months generally vary between 10 and 15 °C (50 and 59 °F) during the day and between 3 and 5 °C (37 and 41 °F) at night, with colder or warmer spells occurring frequently. Snowfall is rare but not unheard of, with light snow or flurries occurring almost every winter, generally without accumulation, and major snowfalls approximately once every 5 years (most recently in 2018, previously 2012).
|Source: ISTAT, 2001|
In 550 BC, Rome was the second largest city in Italy, with Tarentum being the largest. It had an area of about 285 hectares (700 acres) and an estimated population of 35,000. Other sources suggest the population was just under 100,000 from 600–500 BC. When the Republic was founded in 509 BC the census recorded a population of 130,000. The republic included the city itself and the immediate surroundings. Other sources suggest a population of 150,000 in 500 BC. It surpassed 300,000 in 150 BC.
The size of the city at the time of the Emperor Augustus is a matter of speculation, with estimates based on grain distribution, grain imports, aqueduct capacity, city limits, population density, census reports, and assumptions about the number of unreported women, children and slaves providing a very wide range. Glenn Storey estimates 450,000 people, Whitney Oates estimates 1.2 million, Neville Morely provides a rough estimate of 800,000 and excludes earlier suggestions of 2 million. Estimates of the city's population vary. A.H.M. Jones estimated the population at 650,000 in the mid-fifth century. In any case, the damage caused by the sackings may have been overestimated. The population already started to decline from the late 4th century onward, although around the middle of the fifth century it seems that Rome continued to be the most populous city of the two parts of the Empire. According to Krautheimer it was still close to 800,000 in 400 A.D.; had declined to 500,000 by 452; and dwindled to perhaps 100,000 in 500 A.D. After the Gothic Wars, 535-552, the population may have dwindled temporarily to 30,000. During the pontificate of Gregory, 590-604, it may have reached 90,000 augmented by refugees. Lancon estimates 500,000 based on the of 'incisi,' enrolled as eligible to receive bread, oil and wine rations, was 200,000 in the 4th century 25%-30% of the population; the number fell to 120,000 in the reform of 419 which suggests the population may have declined by 300,000. Neil Christie citing free rations for the poorest estimated 500,000 in the mid-fifth century and still a quarter of a million at end of the century. Novel 36 of emperor Valentinian III records 3.629 million pounds of pork to be distributed to the needy at 5 lbs. per month for the five winter months sufficient for 145,000 recipients. This has been used to suggest a population just under 500,000. Supplies of grain remained in full until the seizure of the remaining provinces of North Africa in 439 by the Vandals, and may have continued to some degree afterwards for a while. The city's population declined to less than 50,000 people in the Dark Ages from the 700 A.D. It continued to stagnate or shrink until the Renaissance.
When the Kingdom of Italy annexed Rome in 1870, the city had a population of about 225,000. Less than half the city within the walls was built up in 1881 when the population recorded was 275,000. This increased to 600,000 by the eve of World War I. The Fascist regime of Mussolini tried to block an excessive demographic rise of the city, but failed to prevent it from reaching one million people by the early 1930s. Population growth continued after the Second World War, helped by a post-war economic boom. A construction boom also created a large number of suburbs during the 1950s and 1960s.
In mid-2010, there were 2,754,440 residents in the city proper, while some 4.2 million people lived in the greater Rome area (which can be approximately identified with its administrative metropolitan city, with a population density of about 800 inhabitants/km2 stretching over more than 5,000 km2). Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 17.00% of the population compared to pensioners who number 20.76%. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06% (minors) and 19.94% (pensioners). The average age of a Roman resident is 43 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Rome grew by 6.54%, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56%. The current birth rate of Rome is 9.10 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.
The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 3.9 million. Between 3.2 and 4.2 million people live in the Rome metropolitan area.
According to the latest statistics conducted by ISTAT, approximately 9.5% of the population consists of non-Italians. About half of the immigrant population consists of those of various other European origins (chiefly Romanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and Albanian) numbering a combined total of 131,118 or 4.7% of the population. The remaining 4.8% are those with non-European origins, chiefly Filipinos (26,933), Bangladeshis (12,154), and Chinese (10,283).
The Esquilino rione, off Termini Railway Station, has evolved into a largely immigrant neighbourhood. It is perceived as Rome's Chinatown. Immigrants from more than a hundred different countries reside there. A commercial district, Esquilino contains restaurants featuring many kinds of international cuisine. There are wholesale clothes shops. Of the 1,300 or so commercial premises operating in the district 800 are Chinese-owned; around 300 are run by immigrants from other countries around the world; 200 are owned by Italians.
Much like the rest of Italy, Rome is predominantly Roman Catholic, and the city has been an important centre of religion and pilgrimage for centuries, the base of the ancient Roman religion with the pontifex maximus and later the seat of the Vatican and the pope. Before the arrival of the Christians in Rome, the Religio Romana (literally, the "Roman Religion") was the major religion of the city in classical antiquity. The first gods held sacred by the Romans were Jupiter, the most high, and Mars, god of war, and father of Rome's twin founders, Romulus and Remus, according to tradition. Other gods and goddesses such as Vesta and Minerva were honoured. Rome was also the base of several mystery cults, such as Mithraism. Later, after St Peter and St Paul were martyred in the city, and the first Christians began to arrive, Rome became Christian, and the Old St. Peter's Basilica was constructed in 313 AD. Despite some interruptions (such as the Avignon papacy), Rome has for centuries been the home of the Roman Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome, otherwise known as the Pope.
Despite the fact that Rome is home to the Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica, Rome's cathedral is the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, located to the south-east of the city-centre. There are around 900 churches in Rome in total, aside from the cathedral itself, some others of note include: the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, the Basilica di San Clemente, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and the Church of the Gesù. There are also the ancient Catacombs of Rome underneath the city. Numerous highly important religious educational institutions are also in Rome, such as the Pontifical Lateran University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Pontifical Gregorian University, and Pontifical Oriental Institute.
In recent years, there has been growth in Rome's Muslim community, mainly due to immigration from North African and Middle Eastern countries into the city. As a result of this increase of the local practitioners of the Islamic faith, the comune promoted the building of the Mosque of Rome, which is the largest mosque in Western Europe, that was designed by architect Paolo Portoghesi and inaugurated on 21 June 1995. Since the end of the Roman Republic, Rome is also the centre of an important Jewish community, which was once based in Trastevere, and later in the Roman Ghetto. There lies also the major synagogue in Rome, the Tempio Maggiore.
The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus (Vatican Hill), and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields, where St. Peter's Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel, and museums were built, along with various other buildings. The area was part of the Roman rione of Borgo until 1929. Being separated from the city on the west bank of the Tiber, the area was a suburb that was protected by being included within the walls of Leo IV, later expanded by the current fortification walls of Paul III/Pius IV/Urban VIII.
When the Lateran Treaty of 1929 that created the Vatican state was being prepared, the boundaries of the proposed territory were influenced by the fact that much of it was all but enclosed by this loop. For some tracts of the frontier, there was no wall, but the line of certain buildings supplied part of the boundary, and for a small part of the frontier a modern wall was constructed.
The territory includes Saint Peter's Square, separated from the territory of Italy only by a white line along the limit of the square, where it borders Piazza Pio XII. St. Peter's Square is reached through the Via della Conciliazione, which runs from the Tiber to St. Peter's. This grand approach was designed by architects Piacentini and Spaccarelli, for want of Benito Mussolini and in accordance with the church, after the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty. According to the Lateran Treaty, certain properties of the Holy See located in Italian territory, most notably the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo and the major basilicas, enjoy extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies.
Rome has been a major Christian pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages. People from all over the Christian world visit Vatican City, within the city of Rome, the seat of the papacy. The Pope was the most influential figure during the Middle Ages. The city became a major pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages and the focus of struggles between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire starting with Charlemagne, who was crowned its first emperor in Rome in 800 by Pope Leo III. Apart from brief periods as an independent city during the Middle Ages, Rome kept its status as Papal capital and "holy city" for centuries, even when the Papacy briefly relocated to Avignon (1309–1377). Catholics believe that the Vatican is the last resting place of St. Peter.
Pilgrimages to Rome can involve visits to a large number of sites, both within Vatican City and in Italian territory. A popular stopping point is the Pilate's stairs: these are, according to the Christian tradition, the steps that led up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem, which Jesus Christ stood on during his Passion on his way to trial. The stairs were, reputedly, brought to Rome by St. Helena in the 4th Century. For centuries, the Scala Santa has attracted Christian pilgrims who wished to honour the Passion of Jesus. Object of pilgrimage are also several catacombs built in the Roman age, in which Christians prayed, buried their dead and performed worship during periods of persecution, and various national churches (among them San Luigi dei francesi and Santa Maria dell'Anima), or churches associated with individual religious orders, such as the Jesuit Churches of Jesus and Sant'Ignazio.
Traditionally, pilgrims in Rome and Roman citizens thanking God for a grace should visit by foot the seven pilgrim churches (Italian: Le sette chiese) in 24 hours. This custom, mandatory for each pilgrim in the Middle Ages, was codified in the 16th century by Saint Philip Neri. The seven churches are the four major Basilicas (St Peter in Vatican, St Paul outside the Walls, St John in Lateran and Santa Maria Maggiore), while the other three are San Lorenzo fuori le mura (a palaeochristian Basilica), Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (a church founded by Helena, the mother of Constantine, which hosts fragments of wood attributed to the holy cross) and San Sebastiano fuori le mura (which lies on the Appian Way and is built above Roman catacombs).
Rome's architecture over the centuries has greatly developed, especially from the Classical and Imperial Roman styles to modern Fascist architecture. Rome was for a period one of the world's main epicentres of classical architecture, developing new forms such as the arch, the dome and the vault. The Romanesque style in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries was also widely used in Roman architecture, and later the city became one of the main centres of Renaissance, Baroque and neoclassic architecture.
One of the symbols of Rome is the Colosseum (70–80 AD), the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman Empire. Originally capable of seating 60,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial combat. A list of important monuments and sites of ancient Rome includes the Roman Forum, the Domus Aurea, the Pantheon, Trajan's Column, Trajan's Market, the Catacombs, the Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla, Castel Sant'Angelo, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Ara Pacis, the Arch of Constantine, the Pyramid of Cestius, and the Bocca della Verità.
The medieval popular quarters of the city, situated mainly around the Capitol, were largely demolished between the end of the 19th century and the fascist period, but many notable buildings still remain. Basilicas dating from the Christian antiquity include Saint Mary Major and Saint Paul outside the Walls (the latter largely rebuilt in the 19th century), both housing precious 4th century AD mosaics. Notable later notable medieval mosaics and frescoes can be also found in the churches of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santi Quattro Coronati, and Santa Prassede. Secular buildings include a number of towers, the largest being the Torre delle Milizie and the Torre dei Conti, both next the Roman Forum, and the huge outdoor stairway leading up to the basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli.
Rome was a major world centre of the Renaissance, second only to Florence, and was profoundly affected by the movement. Among others, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture in Rome is the Piazza del Campidoglio by Michelangelo. During this period, the great aristocratic families of Rome used to build opulent dwellings as the Palazzo del Quirinale (now seat of the President of the Italian Republic), the Palazzo Venezia, the Palazzo Farnese, the Palazzo Barberini, the Palazzo Chigi (now seat of the Italian Prime Minister), the Palazzo Spada, the Palazzo della Cancelleria, and the Villa Farnesina.
Many of the famous city's squares – some huge, majestic and often adorned with obelisks, some small and picturesque – got their present shape during the Renaissance and Baroque. The principal ones are Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Farnese, Piazza della Rotonda and Piazza della Minerva. One of the most emblematic examples of Baroque art is the Fontana di Trevi by Nicola Salvi. Other notable 17th-century baroque palaces are the Palazzo Madama, now the seat of the Italian Senate and the Palazzo Montecitorio, now the seat of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy.
In 1870, Rome became the capital city of the new Kingdom of Italy. During this time, neoclassicism, a building style influenced by the architecture of antiquity, became a predominant influence in Roman architecture. During this period, many great palaces in neoclassical styles were built to host ministries, embassies, and other governing agencies. One of the best-known symbols of Roman neoclassicism is the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II or "Altar of the Fatherland", where the Grave of the Unknown Soldier, that represents the 650,000 Italians that fell in World War I, is located.
The Fascist regime that ruled in Italy between 1922 and 1943 had its showcase in Rome. Mussolini allowed the construction of new roads and piazzas, resulting in the destruction of roads, houses, churches and palaces erected during the papal rule. The main activities during his government were: the "isolation" of the Capitoline Hill; Via dei Monti, later renamed Via del'Impero, and finally Via dei Fori Imperiali; Via del Mare, later renamed Via del Teatro di Marcello; the "isolation" of the Mausoleum of Augustus, with the erection of Piazza Augusto Imperatore; Via della Conciliazione.
Architecturally, Fascism favored the most modern movements, such as Rationalism. Parallel to this, in the 1920s another style emerged, named "Stile Novecento", characterised by its links with ancient Roman architecture. One important construction in the latter style is the Foro Mussolini, now Foro Italico, by Enrico Del Debbio. Next to it, the most important Fascist site in Rome is the EUR district, designed in 1938 by Marcello Piacentini. This new quarter emerged as a compromise between Rationalist and Novecento architects, the former being led by Giuseppe Pagano. The EUR was originally conceived for the 1942 world exhibition, and was called "E.42" ("Esposizione 42"). The most representative buildings of EUR are the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (1938–1943), the iconic design of which has been labelled the cubic of Square Colosseum, and the Palazzo dei Congressi, example of Rationalist style. The world exhibition, however, never took place because Italy entered the Second World War in 1940, and the realised buildings were partly destroyed in 1943 during the fighting between Italian and German army after the armistice and later abandoned. The quarter was restored in the 1950s, when the Roman authorities found that they already had the seed of an off-centre business district of the type that other capitals were still planning (London Docklands and La Défense in Paris). Also, the Palazzo della Farnesina, the current seat of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was designed in 1935 in pure Fascist style.
Public parks and nature reserves cover a large area in Rome, and the city has one of the largest areas of green space among European capitals. The most notable part of this green space is represented by the large number of villas and landscaped gardens created by the Italian aristocracy. While most of the parks surrounding the villas were destroyed during the building boom of the late 19th century, some of them remain. The most notable of these are Villa Borghese, Villa Ada, and Villa Doria Pamphili. Villa Doria Pamphili is west of the Gianicolo hill comprising some 1.8 square kilometres (0.7 sq mi). Also on the Gianicolo hill there is Villa Sciarra, with playgrounds for children and shaded walking areas. In the nearby area of Trastevere the Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden) is a cool and shady green space. The old Roman hippodrome (Circus Maximus) is another large green space: it has few trees, but is overlooked by the Palatine and the Rose Garden ('roseto comunale'). Nearby is the lush Villa Celimontana, close to the gardens surrounding the Baths of Caracalla. The Villa Borghese garden is the best known large green space in Rome, with famous art galleries among its shaded walks. Overlooking Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps are the gardens of Pincio and Villa Medici. Noteworthy is also the Pine wood of Castelfusano, near Ostia. Rome also has a number of regional parks of much more recent origin including the Pineto Regional Park and the Appian Way Regional Park. There are also nature reserves at Marcigliana and at Tenuta di Castelporziano.
Rome is a city famous for its numerous fountains, built in all different styles, from Classical and Medieval, to Baroque and Neoclassical. The city has had fountains for more than two thousand years, and they have provided drinking water and decorated the piazzas of Rome. During the Roman Empire, in 98 AD, according to Sextus Julius Frontinus, the Roman consul who was named curator aquarum or guardian of the water of the city, Rome had nine aqueducts which fed 39 monumental fountains and 591 public basins, not counting the water supplied to the Imperial household, baths, and owners of private villas. Each of the major fountains was connected to two different aqueducts, in case one was shut down for service.
During the 17th and 18th century, the Roman popes reconstructed other ruined Roman aqueducts and built new display fountains to mark their termini, launching the golden age of the Roman fountain. The fountains of Rome, like the paintings of Rubens, were expressions of the new style of Baroque art. They were crowded with allegorical figures, and filled with emotion and movement. In these fountains, sculpture became the principal element, and the water was used simply to animate and decorate the sculptures. They, like baroque gardens, were "a visual representation of confidence and power".
Rome is well known for its statues but, in particular, the talking statues of Rome. These are usually ancient statues which have become popular soapboxes for political and social discussion, and places for people to (often satirically) voice their opinions. There are two main talking statues: the Pasquino and the Marforio, yet there are four other noted ones: il Babuino, Madama Lucrezia, il Facchino and Abbot Luigi. Most of these statues are ancient Roman or classical, and most of them also depict mythical gods, ancient people or legendary figures; il Pasquino represents Menelaus, Abbot Luigi is an unknown Roman magistrate, il Babuino is supposed to be Silenus, Marforio represents Oceanus, Madama Lucrezia is a bust of Isis, and il Facchino is the only non-Roman statue, created in 1580, and not representing anyone in particular. They are often, due to their status, covered with placards or graffiti expressing political ideas and points of view. Other statues in the city, which are not related to the talking statues, include those of the Ponte Sant'Angelo, or several monuments scattered across the city, such as that to Giordano Bruno in the Campo de'Fiori.
The city hosts eight ancient Egyptian and five ancient Roman obelisks, together with a number of more modern obelisks; there was also formerly (until 2005) an ancient Ethiopian obelisk in Rome. The city contains some of obelisks in piazzas, such as in Piazza Navona, St Peter's Square, Piazza Montecitorio, and Piazza del Popolo, and others in villas, thermae parks and gardens, such as in Villa Celimontana, the Baths of Diocletian, and the Pincian Hill. Moreover, the centre of Rome hosts also Trajan's and Antonine Column, two ancient Roman columns with spiral relief. The Column of Marcus Aurelius is located in Piazza Colonna and it was built around 180 AD by Commodus in memory of his parents. The Column of Marcus Aurelius was inspired by Trajan's Column at Trajan's Forum, which is part of the Imperial Fora
The city of Rome contains numerous famous bridges which cross the Tiber. The only bridge to remain unaltered until today from the classical age is Ponte dei Quattro Capi, which connects the Isola Tiberina with the left bank. The other surviving – albeit modified – ancient Roman bridges crossing the Tiber are Ponte Cestio, Ponte Sant'Angelo and Ponte Milvio. Considering Ponte Nomentano, also built during ancient Rome, which crosses the Aniene, currently there are five ancient Roman bridges still remaining in the city. Other noteworthy bridges are Ponte Sisto, the first bridge built in the Renaissance above Roman foundations; Ponte Rotto, actually the only remaining arch of the ancient Pons Aemilius, collapsed during the flood of 1598 and demolished at the end of the 19th century; and Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, a modern bridge connecting Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Borgo. Most of the city's public bridges were built in Classical or Renaissance style, but also in Baroque, Neoclassical and Modern styles. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the finest ancient bridge remaining in Rome is the Ponte Sant'Angelo, which was completed in 135 AD, and was decorated with ten statues of the angels, designed by Bernini in 1688.
Rome has extensive amount of ancient catacombs, or underground burial places under or near the city, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, they include pagan and Jewish burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together. The first large-scale catacombs were excavated from the 2nd century onwards. Originally they were carved through tuff, a soft volcanic rock, outside the boundaries of the city, because Roman law forbade burial places within city limits. Currently, maintenance of the catacombs is in the hands of the Papacy which has invested in the Salesians of Don Bosco the supervision of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus on the outskirts of Rome.
As the capital of Italy, Rome hosts all the principal institutions of the nation, including the Presidency of the Republic, the government (and its single Ministeri), the Parliament, the main judicial Courts, and the diplomatic representatives of all the countries for the states of Italy and Vatican City. Many international institutions are located in Rome, notably cultural and scientific ones, such as the American Institute, the British School, the French Academy, the Scandinavian Institutes, and the German Archaeological Institute. There are also specialised agencies of the United Nations, such as the FAO. Rome also hosts major international and worldwide political and cultural organisations, such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP), the NATO Defence College and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).
According to the GaWC study of world cities, Rome is a beta + city, ranking below Milan. Rome was ranked in 2014 as 32nd in the Global Cities Index, the highest in Italy. With a 2005 GDP of €94.376 billion (US$121.5 billion), the city produces 6.7% of the national GDP (more than any other single city in Italy), and its unemployment rate, lowered from 11.1% to 6.5% between 2001 and 2005, is now one of the lowest rates of all the European Union capital cities. Rome's economy grows at around 4.4% annually and continues to grow at a higher rate in comparison to any other city in the rest of the country. This means that were Rome a country, it would be the world's 52nd richest country by GDP, near to the size to that of Egypt. Rome also had a 2003 GDP per capita of €29,153 (US$37,412), which was second in Italy, (after Milan), and is more than 134.1% of the EU average GDP per capita. Rome, on the whole, has the highest total earnings in Italy, reaching €47,076,890,463 in 2008, yet, in terms of average workers' incomes, the city places itself 9th in Italy, with €24,509. On a global level, Rome's workers receive the 30th highest wages in 2009, coming three places higher than in 2008, in which the city ranked 33rd. The Rome area had a GDP amounting to $167.8 billion, and $38,765 per capita.
Although the economy of Rome is characterised by the absence of heavy industry and it is largely dominated by services, high-technology companies (IT, aerospace, defence, telecommunications), research, construction and commercial activities (especially banking), and the huge development of tourism are very dynamic and extremely important to its economy. Rome's international airport, Fiumicino, is the largest in Italy, and the city hosts the head offices of the vast majority of the major Italian companies, as well as the headquarters of three of the world's 100 largest companies: Enel, Eni, and Telecom Italia.
Universities, national radio and television and the movie industry in Rome are also important parts of the economy: Rome is also the hub of the Italian film industry, thanks to the Cinecittà studios, working since the 1930s. The city is also a centre for banking and insurance as well as electronics, energy, transport, and aerospace industries. Numerous international companies and agencies headquarters, government ministries, conference centres, sports venues, and museums are located in Rome's principal business districts: the Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR); the Torrino (further south from the EUR); the Magliana; the Parco de' Medici-Laurentina and the so-called Tiburtina-valley along the ancient Via Tiburtina.
Rome is a nationwide and major international centre for higher education, containing numerous academies, colleges and universities. It boasts a large variety of academies and colleges, and has always been a major worldwide intellectual and educational centre, especially during Ancient Rome and the Renaissance, along with Florence. According to the City Brands Index, Rome is considered the world's second most historically, educationally and culturally interesting and beautiful city.
Rome has a large number of universities and colleges. Its first university, La Sapienza (founded in 1303), is one of the largest in the world, with more than 140,000 students attending; in 2005 it ranked as Europe's 33rd best university and in 2013 the Sapienza University of Rome ranked as the 62nd in the world and the top in Italy in its World University Rankings. and has been ranked among Europe's 50 and the world's 150 best colleges. In order to decrease the overcrowding of La Sapienza, two new public universities were founded during the last decades: Tor Vergata in 1982, and Roma Tre in 1992. Rome hosts also the LUISS School of Government, Italy's most important graduate university in the areas of international affairs and European studies as well as LUISS Business School, Italy's most important business school. Rome ISIA was founded in 1973 by Giulio Carlo Argan and is Italy's oldest institution in the field of industrial design.
Rome contains also a large number of pontifical universities and other institutes, including the British School at Rome, the French School in Rome, the Pontifical Gregorian University (the oldest Jesuit university in the world, founded in 1551), Istituto Europeo di Design, the Scuola Lorenzo de' Medici, the Link Campus of Malta, and the Università Campus Bio-Medico. Rome is also the location of two American Universities; The American University of Rome and John Cabot University as well as St. John's University branch campus, John Felice Rome Center, a campus of Loyola University Chicago and Temple University Rome, a campus of Temple University. The Roman Colleges are several seminaries for students from foreign countries studying for the priesthood at the Pontifical Universities. Examples include the Venerable English College, the Pontifical North American College, the Scots College, and the Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome.
Rome's major libraries include: the Biblioteca Angelica, opened in 1604, making it Italy's first public library; the Biblioteca Vallicelliana, established in 1565; the Biblioteca Casanatense, opened in 1701; the National Central Library, one of the two national libraries in Italy, which contains 4,126,002 volumes; The Biblioteca del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, specialised in diplomacy, foreign affairs and modern history; the Biblioteca dell'Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana; the Biblioteca Don Bosco, one of the largest and most modern of all Salesian libraries; the Biblioteca e Museo teatrale del Burcardo, a museum-library specialised in history of drama and theatre; the Biblioteca della Società Geografica Italiana, which is based in the Villa Celimontana and is the most important geographical library in Italy, and one of Europe's most important; and the Vatican Library, one of the oldest and most important libraries in the world, which was formally established in 1475, though in fact much older and has 75,000 codices, as well as 1.1 million printed books, which include some 8,500 incunabula. There are also a large number of specialist libraries attached to various foreign cultural institutes in Rome, among them that of the American Academy in Rome, the French Academy in Rome and the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute of Art History, a German library, often noted for excellence in the arts and sciences;
Rome is an important centre for music, and it has an intense musical scene, including several prestigious music conservatories and theatres. It hosts the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (founded in 1585), for which new concert halls have been built in the new Parco della Musica, one of the largest musical venues in the world. Rome also has an opera house, the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, as well as several minor musical institutions. The city also played host to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1991 and the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2004.
Rome has also had a major impact in music history. The Roman School was a group of composers of predominantly church music, which were active in the city during the 16th and 17th centuries, therefore spanning the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. The term also refers to the music they produced. Many of the composers had a direct connection to the Vatican and the papal chapel, though they worked at several churches; stylistically they are often contrasted with the Venetian School of composers, a concurrent movement which was much more progressive. By far the most famous composer of the Roman School is Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, whose name has been associated for four hundred years with smooth, clear, polyphonic perfection. However, there were other composers working in Rome, and in a variety of styles and forms.
Rome today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world, due to the incalculable immensity of its archaeological and artistic treasures, as well as for the charm of its unique traditions, the beauty of its panoramic views, and the majesty of its magnificent "villas" (parks). Among the most significant resources are the many museums – Musei Capitolini, the Vatican Museums and the Galleria Borghese and others dedicated to modern and contemporary art – aqueducts, fountains, churches, palaces, historical buildings, the monuments and ruins of the Roman Forum, and the Catacombs. Rome is the third most visited city in the EU, after London and Paris, and receives an average of 7–10 million tourists a year, which sometimes doubles on holy years. The Colosseum (4 million tourists) and the Vatican Museums (4.2 million tourists) are the 39th and 37th (respectively) most visited places in the world, according to a recent study.
Rome is a major archaeological hub, and one of the world's main centres of archaeological research. There are numerous cultural and research institutes located in the city, such as the American Academy in Rome, and The Swedish Institute at Rome. Rome contains numerous ancient sites, including the Forum Romanum, Trajan's Market, Trajan's Forum, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon, to name but a few. The Colosseum, arguably one of Rome's most iconic archaeological sites, is regarded as a wonder of the world.
Rome contains a vast and impressive collection of art, sculpture, fountains, mosaics, frescos, and paintings, from all different periods. Rome first became a major artistic centre during ancient Rome, with forms of important Roman art such as architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work. Metal-work, coin die and gem engraving, ivory carvings, figurine glass, pottery, and book illustrations are considered to be 'minor' forms of Roman artwork. Rome later became a major centre of Renaissance art, since the popes spent vast sums of money for the constructions of grandiose basilicas, palaces, piazzas and public buildings in general. Rome became one of Europe's major centres of Renaissance artwork, second only to Florence, and able to compare to other major cities and cultural centres, such as Paris and Venice. The city was affected greatly by the baroque, and Rome became the home of numerous artists and architects, such as Bernini, Caravaggio, Carracci, Borromini and Cortona. In the late 18th century and early 19th century, the city was one of the centres of the Grand Tour, when wealthy, young English and other European aristocrats visited the city to learn about ancient Roman culture, art, philosophy, and architecture. Rome hosted a great number of neoclassical and rococo artists, such as Pannini and Bernardo Bellotto. Today, the city is a major artistic centre, with numerous art institutes and museums.
Rome has a growing stock of contemporary and modern art and architecture. The National Gallery of Modern Art has works by Balla, Morandi, Pirandello, Carrà, De Chirico, De Pisis, Guttuso, Fontana, Burri, Mastroianni, Turcato, Kandisky, and Cézanne on permanent exhibition. 2010 saw the opening of Rome's newest arts foundation, a contemporary art and architecture gallery designed by acclaimed Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. Known as MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts it restores a dilapidated area with striking modern architecture. Maxxi features a campus dedicated to culture, experimental research laboratories, international exchange and study and research. It is one of Rome's most ambitious modern architecture projects alongside Renzo Piano's Auditorium Parco della Musica and Massimiliano Fuksas' Rome Convention Center, Centro Congressi Italia EUR, in the EUR district, due to open in 2016. The convention centre features a huge translucent container inside which is suspended a steel and teflon structure resembling a cloud and which contains meeting rooms and an auditorium with two piazzas open to the neighbourhood on either side.
Rome is also widely recognised as a world fashion capital. Although not as important as Milan, Rome is the fourth most important centre for fashion in the world, according to the 2009 Global Language Monitor after Milan, New York, and Paris, and beating London. Major luxury fashion houses and jewelry chains, such as Valentino, Bulgari, Fendi, Laura Biagiotti, Brioni, and Renato Balestra, are headquartered or were founded in the city. Also, other major labels, such as Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, and Versace have luxury boutiques in Rome, primarily along its prestigious and upscale Via dei Condotti.
Rome's cuisine has evolved through centuries and periods of social, cultural, and political changes. Rome became a major gastronomical centre during the ancient Age. Ancient Roman cuisine was highly influenced by Ancient Greek culture, and after, the empire's enormous expansion exposed Romans to many new, provincial culinary habits and cooking techniques. Later, during the Renaissance, Rome became well known as a centre of high-cuisine, since some of the best chefs of the time worked for the popes. An example of this was Bartolomeo Scappi, who was a chef working for Pius IV in the Vatican kitchen, and he acquired fame in 1570 when his cookbook Opera dell'arte del cucinare was published. In the book he lists approximately 1000 recipes of the Renaissance cuisine and describes cooking techniques and tools, giving the first known picture of a fork.
In the modern age, the city developed its own peculiar cuisine, based on products of the nearby Campagna, as lamb and vegetables (globe artichokes are common). In parallel, Roman Jews – present in the city since the 1st century BC – developed their own cuisine, the cucina giudaico-romanesca. Examples of Roman dishes include "Saltimbocca alla Romana" – a veal cutlet, Roman-style; topped with raw ham and sage and simmered with white wine and butter; "Carciofi alla romana" – artichokes Roman-style; outer leaves removed, stuffed with mint, garlic, breadcrumbs and braised; "Carciofi alla giudia" – artichokes fried in olive oil, typical of Roman Jewish cooking; outer leaves removed, stuffed with mint, garlic, breadcrumbs and braised; "Spaghetti alla carbonara" – spaghetti with bacon, eggs and pecorino, and "Gnocchi di semolino alla romana" – semolina dumpling, Roman-style, to name but a few.
Rome hosts the Cinecittà Studios, the largest film and television production facility in continental Europe and the centre of the Italian cinema, where a large number of today's biggest box office hits are filmed. The 99-acre (40 ha) studio complex is 9.0 kilometres (5.6 mi) from the centre of Rome and is part of one of the biggest production communities in the world, second only to Hollywood, with well over 5,000 professionals – from period costume makers to visual effects specialists. More than 3,000 productions have been made on its lot, from recent features like The Passion of the Christ, Gangs of New York, HBO's Rome, The Life Aquatic and Dino De Laurentiis' Decameron, to such cinema classics as Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, and the films of Federico Fellini.
Founded in 1937 by Benito Mussolini, the studios were bombed by the Western Allies during the Second World War. In the 1950s, Cinecittà was the filming location for several large American film productions, and subsequently became the studio most closely associated with Federico Fellini. Today, Cinecittà is the only studio in the world with pre-production, production, and full post-production facilities on one lot, allowing directors and producers to walk in with their script and "walk out" with a completed film.
Although associated today only with Latin, ancient Rome was in fact multilingual. In highest antiquity, Sabine tribes shared the area of what is today Rome with Latin tribes. The Sabine language was one of the Italic group of ancient Italian languages, along with Etruscan, which would have been the main language of the last three kings who ruled the city till the founding of the Republic in 509 BC. Urganilla, or Plautia Urgulanilla, wife of Emperor Claudius, is thought to have been a speaker of Etruscan many centuries after this date, according to Suetonius' entry on Claudius. However Latin, in various evolving forms, was the main language of classical Rome, but as the city had immigrants, slaves, residents, ambassadors from many parts of the world it was also multilingual. Many educated Romans also spoke Greek, and there was a large Greek, Syriac and Jewish population in parts of Rome from well before the Empire.
Latin evolved during the Middle Ages into a new language, the "volgare". The latter emerged as the confluence of various regional dialects, among which the Tuscan dialect predominated, but the population of Rome also developed its own dialect, the Romanesco. The Romanesco spoken during the Middle Ages was more like a southern Italian dialect, very close to the Neapolitan language in Campania. The influence of the Florentine culture during the renaissance, and above all, the immigration to Rome of many Florentines following the two Medici Popes (Leo X and Clement VII), caused a major shift in the dialect, which began to resemble more the Tuscan varieties. This remained largely confined to Rome until the 19th century, but then expanded to other zones of Lazio (Civitavecchia, Latina and others), from the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the rising population of Rome and to improving transportation systems. As a consequence of education and media like radio and television, Romanesco became more similar to standard Italian. Dialectal literature in the traditional form of Romanesco includes the works of such authors as Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (one of the most important Italian poets altogether), Trilussa and Cesare Pascarella. It is worth remembering though that Romanesco was a "lingua vernacola" (vernacular language), meaning that for centuries, it did not have a written form but it was only spoken by the population.
Rome's historic contribution to language in a worldwide sense is much more extensive however. Through the process of Romanization, the peoples of Italy, Gallia, the Iberian Peninsula and Dacia developed languages which derive directly from Latin and were adopted in large areas of the world, all through cultural influence, colonization and migration. Moreover, also modern English, because of the Norman Conquest, borrowed a large percentage of its vocabulary from the Latin language. The Roman or Latin alphabet is the most widely used writing system in the world used by the greatest number of languages.
Rome has long hosted artistic communities, foreign resident communities and a large number of foreign religious students or pilgrims and so has always been a multilingual city. Today because of mass tourism, many languages are used in servicing tourism, especially English which is widely known in tourist areas, and the city hosts large numbers of immigrants and so has many multilingual immigrant areas.
Association football is the most popular sport in Rome, as in the rest of the country. The city hosted the final games of the 1934 and 1990 FIFA World Cup. The latter took place in the Olympic Stadium, which is also the shared home stadium for local Serie A clubs S.S. Lazio, founded in 1900, and A.S. Roma, founded in 1927, whose rivalry in the Derby della Capitale has become a staple of Roman sports culture. Footballers who play for these teams and are also born in the city tend to become especially popular, as has been the case with players such as Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi (both for A.S. Roma), and Alessandro Nesta (for S.S. Lazio). Atletico Roma F.C. is a minor team that played in Lega Pro First Division until 2012; its home stadium was Stadio Flaminio.
Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics, with great success, using many ancient sites such as the Villa Borghese and the Thermae of Caracalla as venues. For the Olympic Games many new structures were created, notably the new large Olympic Stadium (which was also enlarged and renewed to host qualification and the final match of the 1990 FIFA World Cup), the Villaggio Olimpico (Olympic Village, created to host the athletes and redeveloped after the games as a residential district), ecc. Rome made a bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics but it was withdrawn before the deadline for applicant files.
Further, Rome hosted the 1991 EuroBasket and is home to the internationally recognized basketball team Virtus Roma. Rugby union is gaining wider acceptance. Until 2011 the Stadio Flaminio was the home stadium for the Italy national rugby union team, which has been playing in the Six Nations Championship since 2000. The team now plays home games at the Stadio Olimpico because the Stadio Flaminio needs works of renovation in order to improve both its capacity and safety. Rome is home to local rugby union teams such as Rugby Roma (founded in 1930 and winner of five Italian championships, the latter in 1999–2000), Unione Rugby Capitolina and S.S. Lazio 1927 (rugby union branch of the multisport club S.S. Lazio).
Every May, Rome hosts the ATP Masters Series tennis tournament on the clay courts of the Foro Italico. Cycling was popular in the post-World War II period, although its popularity has faded. Rome has hosted the final portion of the Giro d'Italia three times, in 1911, 1950, and 2009. Rome is also home to other sports teams, including volleyball (M. Roma Volley), handball or waterpolo.
Rome is at the centre of the radial network of roads that roughly follow the lines of the ancient Roman roads which began at the Capitoline Hill and connected Rome with its empire. Today Rome is circled, at a distance of about 10 km (6 mi) from the Capitol, by the ring-road (the Grande Raccordo Anulare or GRA).
Due to its location in the centre of the Italian peninsula, Rome is the principal railway node for central Italy. Rome's main railway station, Termini, is one of the largest railway stations in Europe and the most heavily used in Italy, with around 400 thousand travellers passing through every day. The second-largest station in the city, Roma Tiburtina, has been redeveloped as a high-speed rail terminus. As well as frequent high speed day trains to all major Italian cities, Rome is linked nightly by 'boat train' sleeper services to Sicily, and internationally by overnight sleeper services to Munich and Vienna by ÖBB Austrian railways.
Rome is served by three airports. The intercontinental Leonardo da Vinci International Airport is Italy's chief airport, is located within the nearby Fiumicino, south-west of Rome. The older Rome Ciampino Airport is a joint civilian and military airport. It is commonly referred to as "Ciampino Airport", as it is located beside Ciampino, south-east of Rome. A third airport, the Roma-Urbe Airport, is a small, low-traffic airport located about 6 km (4 mi) north of the city centre, which handles most helicopter and private flights.
Although the city has its own quarter on the Mediterranean Sea (Lido di Ostia), this has only a marina and a small channel-harbour for fishing boats. The main harbour which serves Rome is Port of Civitavecchia, located about 62 kilometres (39 miles) northwest of the city.
The city suffers from traffic problems largely due to this radial street pattern, making it difficult for Romans to move easily from the vicinity of one of the radial roads to another without going into the historic centre or using the ring-road. These problems are not helped by the limited size of Rome's metro system when compared to other cities of similar size. In addition, Rome has only 21 taxis for every 10,000 inhabitants, far below other major European cities. Chronic congestion caused by cars during the 1970s and 1980s led to restrictions being placed on vehicle access to the inner city-centre during the hours of daylight. Areas where these restriction apply are known as Limited Traffic Zones (Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL) in Italian). More recently, heavy night-time traffic in Trastevere, Testaccio and San Lorenzo has led to the creation of night-time ZTLs in those districts.
A 3-line metro system called the Metropolitana operates in Rome. Construction on the first branch started in the 1930s. The line had been planned to quickly connect the main railway station 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, but the area was later partly redesigned and renamed EUR (Esposizione Universale di Roma: Rome Universal Exhibition) in the 1950s to serve as a modern business district. The line was finally opened in 1955, and it is now the south 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. 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.
The A and B lines intersect at Roma Termini station. A new branch of the B line (B1) opened on 13 June 2012 after an estimated building cost of €500 million. B1 connects to line B at Piazza Bologna and has four stations over a distance of 3.9 km (2 mi).
A third line, the C line, is under construction with an estimated cost of €3 billion and will have 30 stations over a distance of 25.5 km (16 mi). It will partly replace the existing Termini-Pantano rail line. It will feature full automated, driverless trains. The first section with 15 stations connecting Pantano with the quarter of Centocelle in the eastern part of the city, opened on 9 November 2014. The end of the work was scheduled in 2015, but archaeological findings often delay underground construction work.
A fourth line, D line, is also planned. It will have 22 stations over a distance of 20 km (12 mi). The first section was projected to open in 2015 and the final sections before 2035, but due to the city's financial crisis the project has been put on hold.
Above-ground public transport in Rome is made up of a bus, tram and urban train network (FR lines). The bus, tram, metro and urban railways network is run by Atac S.p.A. (which originally stood for the Municipal Bus and Tramways Company, Azienda Tramvie e Autobus del Comune in Italian). The bus network has in excess of 350 bus lines and over eight thousand bus stops, whereas the more-limited tram system has 39 km (24 mi) of track and 192 stops. There is also one trolleybus line, opened in 2005, and additional trolleybus lines are planned.
Among the global cities, Rome is unique in having two sovereign entities located entirely within its city limits, the Holy See, represented by the Vatican City State, and the territorially smaller Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The Vatican is an enclave of the Italian capital city and a sovereign possession of the Holy See, which is the Diocese of Rome and the supreme government of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome therefore hosts foreign embassies to the Italian government, to the Holy See, to the Order of Malta and to certain international organizations. Several international Roman Colleges and Pontifical Universities are located in Rome.
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and its official seat is the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran (of which the President of the French Republic is ex officio the "first and only honorary canon", a title held by the heads of the French state since King Henry IV of France). Another body, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), took refuge in Rome in 1834, due to the conquest of Malta by Napoleon in 1798. It is sometimes classified as having sovereignty but does not claim any territory in Rome or anywhere else, hence leading to dispute over its actual sovereign status.
Rome is the seat of the so-called Polo Romano made up by three main international agencies of the United Nations: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Rome has traditionally been involved in the process of European political integration. The Treaties of the EU are located in Palazzo della Farnesina, seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, due the fact that the Italian government is the depositary of the treaties. In 1957 the city hosted the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community (predecessor to the European Union), and also played host to the official signing of the proposed European Constitution in July 2004.
Rome is the seat of the European Olympic Committee and of the NATO Defense College. The city is the place where the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the European Convention on Human Rights were formulated.
The city hosts also other important international entities such as the IDLO (International Development Law Organisation), the ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and the UNIDROIT (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law).
Rome is since 9 April 1956 exclusively and reciprocally twinned only with:
Rome's other partner cities are:
Associazione Sportiva Roma (BIT: ASR, LSE: 0MT1; Rome Sport Association), commonly referred to as Roma [ˈroːma], is an Italian professional football club based in Rome. Founded by a merger in 1927, Roma have participated in the top-tier of Italian football for all of their existence except for 1951–52.
Roma have won Serie A three times, in 1941–42, 1982–83 and 2000–01, as well as winning nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. In European competitions, Roma won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1960–61 and were runners-up in the 1983–84 European Cup and the 1990–91 UEFA Cup.
Fifteen players have won the FIFA World Cup while playing at Roma: Ferraris, Guaita and Masetti (1934); Donati, Monzeglio and Serantoni (1938); Bruno Conti (1982); Rudi Voller and Berthold (1990); Aldair (1994); Candela (1998); Cafu (2002); Daniele De Rossi, Simone Perrotta and Francesco Totti (2006).
Since 1953, Roma have played their home matches at the Stadio Olimpico, a venue they share with city rivals Lazio. With a capacity of over 72,000, it is the second-largest of its kind in Italy, with only the San Siro able to seat more. The club plan to move to a new stadium, though this is yet to start construction.
The club's home colours are Tyrian purple and gold, which gives Roma their nickname "I Giallorossi" ("The Yellow and Reds"). Their club badge features a she-wolf, an allusion to the founding myth of Rome.Ancient Rome
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC–509 BC), Roman Republic (509 BC–27 BC) and Roman Empire (27 BC–476 AD) until the fall of the western empire.
The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants (roughly 20% of the world's population at the time)) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a elective monarchy to a democratic classical republic and then to an increasingly autocratic semi-elective military dictatorship of the empire. Through conquest, cultural, and linguistic assimilation, at its height it controlled the North African coast, Egypt, Southern Europe, and most of Western Europe, the Balkans, Crimea and much of the Middle East, including Levant and parts of Mesopotamia and Arabia. It is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world.
Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, religion, society, technology, law, politics, government, warfare, art, literature, architecture and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. It achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments, palaces, and public facilities.
The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily; took Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal); and destroyed the city of Carthage in 146 BC, giving Rome supremacy in the Mediterranean. By the end of the Republic (27 BC), Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa. The Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak. It stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century.
Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe. The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most commonly referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into.Augustus
Augustus (Latin: Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.
Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia. His maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC.
After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State"). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire.
Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, and completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75, probably from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius.Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Catholic theology is based on the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.Of its seven sacraments the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes Divine Mercy, sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.The Catholic Church has influenced Western philosophy, culture, art, and science. Catholics live all over the world through missions, diaspora, and conversions. Since the 20th century the majority reside in the southern hemisphere due to secularisation in Europe, and increased persecution in the Middle East.
The Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the pope, as well as with the Oriental Orthodox churches prior to the Chalcedonian schism in 451 over differences in Christology. The Reformation of the 16th century resulted in Protestants breaking away.
From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticised for its teaching on sexuality, its refusal to ordain women, as well as the handling of sexual abuse cases involving clergy.Colosseum
The Colosseum or Coliseum ( kol-ə-SEE-əm), also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium; Italian: Anfiteatro Flavio [aɱfiteˈaːtro ˈflaːvjo] or Colosseo [kolosˈsɛːo]), is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir, Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81–96). These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Flavius).
The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, having an average audience of some 65,000; it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles (for only a short time as the hypogeum was soon filled in with mechanisms to support the other activities), animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and is listed as one of the New7Wonders of the World. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and also has links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum. In 2018, it was the most popular tourist attraction in the world, with 7.4 million visitors.The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.Fall of the Western Roman Empire
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called Fall of the Roman Empire or Fall of Rome) was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, and its vast territory was divided into several successor polities. The Roman Empire lost the strengths that had allowed it to exercise effective control over its Western provinces; modern historians mention factors including the effectiveness and numbers of the army, the health and numbers of the Roman population, the strength of the economy, the competence of the Emperors, the internal struggles for power, the religious changes of the period, and the efficiency of the civil administration. Increasing pressure from invading barbarians outside Roman culture also contributed greatly to the collapse. The reasons for the collapse are major subjects of the historiography of the ancient world and they inform much modern discourse on state failure.Relevant dates include 117 CE, when the Empire was at its greatest territorial extent, and the accession of Diocletian in 284. Irreversible major territorial loss, however, began in 376 with a large-scale irruption of Goths and others. In 395, after winning two destructive civil wars, Theodosius I died, leaving a collapsing field army and the Empire, still plagued by Goths, divided between the warring ministers of his two incapable sons. Further barbarian groups crossed the Rhine and other frontiers, and like the Goths were not exterminated, expelled or subjugated. The armed forces of the Western Empire became few and ineffective, and despite brief recoveries under able leaders, central rule was never effectively consolidated. By 476 when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the Western Roman Emperor wielded negligible military, political, or financial power and had no effective control over the scattered Western domains that could still be described as Roman. Barbarian kingdoms had established their own power in much of the area of the Western Empire. While its legitimacy lasted for centuries longer and its cultural influence remains today, the Western Empire never had the strength to rise again. The Eastern Empire survived, and though lessened in strength remained for centuries an effective power of the Eastern Mediterranean.
While the loss of political unity and military control is universally acknowledged, the Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events; the period described as Late Antiquity emphasizes the cultural continuities throughout and beyond the political collapse.Holy See
The Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes; Latin pronunciation: [ˈsaŋkta ˈsedes]; Italian: Santa Sede), also called the See of Rome, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, and a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.
As a recognised sovereign subject of international law, headed by the Pope, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, and exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy. The Holy See maintains bilateral diplomatic relations with 172 sovereign states, signs concordats and treaties, and performs multilateral diplomacy with multiple intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies, the Council of Europe, the European Communities, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe the Organization of American States and the Organization for African Unity. The Holy See is administered by the Roman Curia (Latin for Roman Court), similar to a centralised government, with the Cardinal Secretary of State as its chief administrator, in addition to various dicasteries, comparable to ministries and executive departments. Papal elections are carried out by the College of Cardinals.
Although the Holy See is sometimes metonymically referred to as the "Vatican", the Vatican City State was distinctively established with the Lateran Treaty (1929) between the Holy See and Italy to ensure the temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence of the Papacy. As such, ambassadors are officially accredited to the Holy See and not the Vatican City State. Conversely, Papal nuncios to states and international organisations are recognised as representing the Holy See and the integrity of the Catholic Church along with its 1.3 billion members, not the Vatican City State, as prescribed also in the Canon law of the Catholic Church (1983). The "Holy See" thus refers to the See of Rome viewed as the central government of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, in turn, is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, while the diplomatic status of the Holy See facilitates the access of its vast international network of charities.Italian Open (tennis)
The Italian Open originally called the Italian International Championships (known also as Rome Masters for male edition, as well as sponsored name Internazionali BNL d'Italia) is a tennis tournament held in Rome, Italy. It is one of the most important clay tennis tournaments in the world with the men's competition being an ATP Tour Masters 1000 event on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour, and the women's competition being a Premier 5 event on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour. The two events were combined in 2011. The tournament is played on clay courts, currently during the second week of May. The event is also known as the Rome Masters and the Italian Championships. Rafael Nadal has won the title a record nine times.Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar (; Latin pronunciation: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.li.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar]; 12 or 13 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC), known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, and historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He also wrote Latin prose.
In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a number of his accomplishments, notably his victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to Britain and past Gaul. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars. As a result, Caesar found himself with no other options but to cross the Rubicon with the 13th Legion in 49 BC, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. This began Caesar's civil war, and his victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire. He initiated land reform and support for veterans. He centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator for life" (Latin: "dictator perpetuo"), giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites, who began to conspire against him. On the Ides of March (15 March), 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who stabbed him to death. A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.
Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. His cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor"; the title "Caesar" was used throughout the Roman Empire, giving rise to modern cognates such as Kaiser or Tsar. He has frequently appeared in literary and artistic works, and his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era.List of popes
This chronological list of popes corresponds to that given in the Annuario Pontificio under the heading "I Sommi Pontefici Romani" (The Supreme Pontiffs of Rome), excluding those that are explicitly indicated as antipopes. Published every year by the Roman Curia, the Annuario Pontificio attaches no consecutive numbers to the popes, stating that it is impossible to decide which side represented at various times the legitimate succession, in particular regarding Pope Leo VIII, Pope Benedict V and some mid-11th-century popes. The 2001 edition of the Annuario Pontificio introduced "almost 200 corrections to its existing biographies of the popes, from St Peter to John Paul II". The corrections concerned dates, especially in the first two centuries, birthplaces and the family name of one pope.The term pope (Latin: papa, lit. 'father') is used in several Churches to denote their high spiritual leaders (for example Coptic Pope). This title in English usage usually refers to the head of the Catholic Church. The Catholic pope uses various titles by tradition, including Summus Pontifex, Pontifex Maximus, and Servus servorum Dei. Each title has been added by unique historical events and unlike other papal prerogatives, is not incapable of modification.Hermannus Contractus may have been the first historian to number the popes continuously. His list ends in 1049 with Pope Leo IX as number 154. Several changes were made to the list during the 20th century. Antipope Christopher was considered legitimate for a long time. Pope-elect Stephen was considered legitimate under the name Stephen II until the 1961 edition, when his name was erased. Although these changes are no longer controversial, a number of modern lists still include this "first Pope Stephen II". It is probable that this is because they are based on the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is in the public domain.
A significant number of these popes have been recognized as saints, including 48 out of the first 50 consecutive popes, and others are in the sainthood process. Of the first 31 popes, 28 died as martyrs (see List of murdered popes).Mark Antony
Marcus Antonius (14 January 83 BC – 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.
Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate. The Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and divided the government of the Republic between themselves. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, then ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.
Relations among the triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs. Their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.
With Antony dead, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.Nero
Nero (; Latin: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD) was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius and became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard. Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, was likely implicated in Claudius' death and Nero's nomination as emperor. She dominated Nero's early life and decisions until he cast her off. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered.During the early years of his reign, Nero was content to be guided by his mother, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca and his Praetorian prefect, Sextus Afranius Burrus. As time passed, he started to play a more active and independent role in government and foreign policy. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a major revolt in Britain, led by the Iceni Queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade and the cultural life of the empire, ordering theatres built and promoting athletic games. He made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician and charioteer. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. His extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxes that was much resented by the middle and upper classes. Various plots against his life were revealed; the ringleaders, most of them Nero's own courtiers, were executed.
In 68 AD Vindex, governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled. He was supported by Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim, but Nero fled Rome when Rome's discontented civil and military authorities chose Galba as emperor. He committed suicide on June 9, 68 AD, when he learned that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy, making him the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Nero's rule is usually associated with tyranny and extravagance. Most Roman sources, such as Suetonius and Cassius Dio, offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign; Tacitus claims that the Roman people thought him compulsive and corrupt. Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive, seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty. Some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts. A few sources paint Nero in a more favorable light. There is evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners, especially in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" to enlist popular support.Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon (UK: , US: ; Latin: Pantheum, from Greek Πάνθειον Pantheion, "[temple] of all the gods") is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa's older temple, which had burned down.The building is cylindrical with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43 metres (142 ft).It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history and, since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been in use as a church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" (Latin: Sancta Maria ad Martyres) but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda". The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda. The Pantheon is a state property, managed by Italy's Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism through the Polo Museale del Lazio; in 2013 it was visited by over 6 million people.
The Pantheon's large circular domed cella, with a conventional temple portico front, was unique in Roman architecture. Nevertheless, it became a standard exemplar when classical styles were revived, and has been copied many times by later architects.Pope
The pope (Latin: papa from Greek: πάππας pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff (from Latin pontifex maximus "greatest priest"), is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.While his office is called the papacy, the episcopal see and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See. It is the Holy See that is the sovereign entity of international law headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is largely derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, giving him the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built.
The apostolic see of Rome was founded by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in 1st century, according to Catholic tradition. The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. In ancient times the popes helped spread Christianity, and intervened to find resolutions in various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages, they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe, often acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of human rights.In some periods of history, the papacy, which originally had no temporal powers, accrued wide secular powers rivaling those of temporal rulers. However, in recent centuries the temporal authority of the papacy has declined and the office is now almost exclusively focused on religious matters. By contrast, papal claims of spiritual authority have been increasingly firmly expressed over time, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair (of Saint Peter)"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals. Still, the Pope is considered one of the world's most powerful people because of his extensive diplomatic, cultural, and spiritual influence on 1.3 billion Catholics and beyond, as well as the official representative of the Catholic Church being the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, with a vast international network of charities.Roman Empire
The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Rōmānum, Classical Latin: [ɪmˈpɛ.ri.ũː roːˈmaː.nũː]; Koine and Medieval Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn) was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from Italy, homeland of the Romans and metropole of the empire, with the city of Rome as capital (27 BC – 286 AD). The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Senate of Rome sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople (Byzantium in Ancient Greek). The fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.
The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became severely destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict. In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. The following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was then unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus, effectively making him the first emperor.
The first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"). It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan (98–117 AD). A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West. Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire finally collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453.
Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe. The Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire. Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of later republics such as the United States and France. The corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture.Roman Republic
The Roman Republic (Latin: Rēs pūblica Rōmāna, Classical Latin: [ˈreːs ˈpuːb.lɪ.ka roːˈmaː.na]; Italian: Repubblica romana) was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.
Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin, Etruscan, and Greek elements, which is especially visible in the Roman Pantheon. Its political organisation was strongly influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, legislative, judicial, military, and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families (called gentes) monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who even sacked the city in 387 BC. The Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean. The Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against which it waged three wars. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world. It then embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic similarly experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who finally achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC. Later, the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery also caused three Servile Wars; the last of them was led by Spartacus, a skilful gladiator who ravaged Italy and left Rome powerless until his defeat in 71 BC. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system. Marius (between 105–86 BC), then Sulla (between 82–78 BC) dominated in turn the Republic; both used extraordinary powers to purge their opponents. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars; the first between the two generals Julius Caesar and Pompey. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but then turned against each other. The final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which effectively made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic.Saint Peter
Saint Peter (Syriac: ܫܸܡܥܘܿܢ ܟܹ݁ܐܦ݂ܵܐ, Šemʿōn Kēp̄ā; Hebrew: שמעון בר יונה Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; Greek: Πέτρος, translit. Petros; Coptic: ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, romanized: Petros; Latin: Petrus; r. AD 30; died between AD 64 and 68), also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon (, pronunciation ), or Cephas, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first leader of the early Church.
According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero. He is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome—or pope—and also by Eastern Christian tradition as the first Patriarch of Antioch. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and as the founder of the Church of Antioch and the Roman Church, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his present-day successors (the primacy of the Bishop of Rome). According to Catholic teaching, in Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised Peter a special position in the Church.
Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars generally reject the Petrine authorship of both. The Gospel of Mark was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter's preaching and eyewitness memories. Several other books bearing his name—the Acts of Peter, Gospel of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, and Judgment of Peter—are considered by Christian denominations as apocryphal, and are thus not included in their Bible canons.St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican (Italian: Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply St. Peter's Basilica (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.
Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".Catholic tradition holds that the basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus's apostles and also the first Bishop of Rome. Saint Peter's tomb is supposedly directly below the high altar of the basilica. For this reason, many popes have been interred at St. Peter's since the Early Christian period, and there has been a church on this site since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica, which would replace Old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage and for its liturgical functions. The pope presides at a number of liturgies throughout the year, drawing audiences of 15,000 to over 80,000 people, either within the basilica or the adjoining St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's has many historical associations, with the Early Christian Church, the Papacy, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-reformation and numerous artists, especially Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. St. Peter's is one of the four churches in the world that hold the rank of major basilica, all four of which are in Rome. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not a cathedral because it is not the seat of a bishop; the cathedra of the pope as Bishop of Rome is in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.Vatican City
Vatican City ( (listen)), officially Vatican City State (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano; Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae), is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes). With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world by both area and population.The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.
The Holy See dates back to early Christianity, and is the primate episcopal see of the Catholic Church, with 1.3 billion Catholics around the world distributed in the Latin Church and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The independent Vatican City-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 11 February 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy.
Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications.
|Climate data for Rome Ciampino Airport (altitude: 105 m sl, 13 km (8 mi) south-east from Colosseum satellite view)|
|Average high °C (°F)||11.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||7.5
|Average low °C (°F)||3.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66.9
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||7.0||7.6||7.6||9.2||6.2||4.3||2.1||3.3||6.2||8.2||9.7||8.0||79.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||120.9||132.8||167.4||201.0||263.5||285.0||331.7||297.6||237.0||195.3||129.0||111.6||2,472.8|
|Source: Servizio Meteorologico, data of sunshine hours (1971–2000)|