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Rome

Rome (Roma) is the capital city of Italy. It is located on the Tiber river,
in the central part of the country near the Tyrrhenian Sea, at 4150'N,
1215'E. The Vatican City, located in an enclave within Rome, is the seat of
the Pope of the Roman Catholic church.

Rome was the seat of the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire.

By tradition, Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC, by Romulus, who killed
in the process his twin brother named Remus. This date was the basis for the
Roman calendar and the Julian calendar (Ab urbe condita)
Romulus and Remus were allegedly sons of the god Mars and the priestess Rea
Silvia, daughter of Numitor, king of Albalonga. The boys were abandoned to
save them from the hate of Amulius, a pretender to Albalonga's throne, and
taken care of by a she-wolf, even today one of the symbols of Rome. See also
founding of Rome

Rome was built on the Sun hill, which was later named Palatine, and extended
to include the seven hills:

   * Palatine,
   * Aventine,
   * Capitoline,
   * Quirinal,
   * Viminal,
   * Esquiline and
   * Caelian,

     after the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (see also
     Roman mythology).

There is a mnemonic device used to recall the names of the seven hills: Can
Queen Victoria Eat Cold Apple Pie?

The Roman civilisation developed the Latin language, its official language
and one of the fundamental elements in linguistics, and the source of the
Romance languages. It is to this day the official language of the Catholic
Church and the Vatican.

Rome timeline

   * 753 BC - The founding of Rome
   * 509 BC - End of Roman Kingdom, constitution of the Roman Republic
   * 451 BC - With the publishing of the Laws of the 12 Tables, the Roman
     law is born
   * 390 BC Rome is sacked by the Gauls. All historical records are
     destroyed, putting the period between 753-390 in the realm of legend.
   * 343 BC-146 BC - Roman expansion and conquest of Italian peoples
     (Etruscans, Samnites, Tarentini), African peoples (Carthage), Hellenic
     peoples (Macedones, Greeks), Asian peoples (Syrians, Rhodenses,
     Pergamus), Gaulish peoples (Ligures, Caenomanes, Veneti), and Iberian
     peoples (Lusitani, Celtiberians).
   * 133 BC-123 BC - Democratical reformations by Gracchi
   * 44 BC - Julius Caesar murdered
   * 31 BC-AD 14 - Age of Augustus, end of civil wars (pax romana) and
     transformation of the republic into the Roman Empire
   * 64 - Great fire of Rome: A fire starts on July 18 in the merchant area
     of Rome and soon burns completely out of control while Emperor Nero
     reportedly plays his lyre and sings while watching the blaze from a
     safe distance.
   * 96-192 - greatest territorial extension of the Empire, under Nerva,
     Trajan, Hadrian and the Antoninii
   * 395 - Death of Theodosius the Great, division of the Empire, Rome
     becomes the capital city of Western Roman Empire
   * 410 - Visigoths sack Rome
   * 454 - Following the death of Valentinian III, the Vandals invade Rome,
     extensively looting it, and carry off several of Valentinian's
     surviving family as hostages
   * 800 - On Christmas, Charlemagne is crowned Imperator of the Holy Roman
     Empire by Pope Leo III
   * 1095 - First Lateran Council, Roman curia made sole responsible of the
     papal election
   * 1144 - Founding of the Comune (town council) of Rome
   * 1347 and 1354 - Popular government by Cola di Rienzo, while popes are
     in Avignon
   * 1527 - Rome is sacked by Lansquenets
   * 1798-1799 - The first Roman Republic
   * 1848-1849 - The second Roman Republic (led by Giuseppe Mazzini and
     Aurelio Saffi), Pope Pius IX out of town
   * 1870 - Bersaglieri, selected troops of Sardinian army, enter Rome by
     Porta Pia
   * 1871 - Rome is the capital city of Italy, the Italian unification is
     complete, the House of Savoy rules the kingdom of Italy
   * 1929 - With the Lateran Pacts (Concordato), Italy and Vatican settle
     respective borders, attributions, competences. The Holy See loses its
     temporal power outside Vatican City
   * 1942 - During World War II Rome is bombed by the Allies for the first
     time in the war on July 19.
   * 1946 - The king leaves Italy, that becomes a republic, most of the
     royal patrimony in the town is attributed to the city Council

See: Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, Roman Empire

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Rome soon became the capital city of the
Papal States, the territorial entity ruled by the Papacy that would last
until 1870, when Italy was unified by the former king of Sardinia. During
this long period Rome became the worldwide centre of Christianity and
increasingly developed a relevant political role that made it one of the
most important towns of the Old Continent. In art, although Florence became
the center of humanism and the Rinascimento (Renaissance), Rome was the
center of baroque, and architecture deeply affected its central areas.

In the 16th century a central area was delimited around Portico d'Ottavia,
for the creation of the famous Roman Ghetto, an area which the Jews were
forced to live in.

Some of the most famous views of Rome in the 18th century were etched by
Giovanni Battista Piranesi. His grand vision of classic Rome inspired many
to visit the city and examine the ruins themselves.

The Roman urban form reflects the stratification of the succeeding epochs,
with a wide historical center; this today contains many areas from Ancient
Rome, very few areas from Quattrocento (mainly around piazza Farnese), and
lots of churches and palaces from baroque times. The historical centre is
identified as within the limits of ancient imperial walls. Some central
areas were reorganised after the unification (1880-1910 - Roma Umbertina),
and some important additions and adaptations made during the fascism, with
the discussed creation of Fori Imperiali and the founding of new quartieri
(among which Eur, San Basilio, Garbatella, Cinecitt and, on the coast, the
restructuring of Ostia) and the inclusion of bordering villages (Labaro,
Osteria del Curato, Quarto Miglio, Capannelle, Pisana, Torrevecchia,
Ottavia, Casalotti). These expansions were needed to face the huge increase
of population due to the centralisation of the Italian state.

During WWII Rome suffered some heavy bombings (notably at San Lorenzo) and
battles (Porta San Paolo, La Storta) and was considered an "open town" (as
in the film by Roberto Rossellini).

After the war Rome continued to expand, mainly for a similar reason of
increased number of inhabitants (this time due to the development of the
state administrations and the progressive turning of general national
economy from mainly agricultural to modern industrial schemes), with the
creation of new quartieri and suburbs; the current estimated number of
inhabitants is appr. 3,5 millions, but it has been estimated that in working
time more than 5 million people are in the town. They were 138,000 in 1825,
244,000 in 1871, 692,000 in 1921, 1,600,000 in 1961.

Rome organised the 1960 Summer Olympics, using many ancient sites, such as
the Villa Borghese and the Thermae of Caracalla as venues or surroundings.

Many of the monuments of Rome were restored by the Italian state and by the
Vatican for the 2000 Jubilee.

The Grande Raccordo Anulare, the round motorway that surrounds most part of
it, is more than 80 km long.

Being the capital city of Italy, Rome hosts all the principal institutions
of the nation, like 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
the Vatican City (curiously, Rome also hosts, in the Italian part of its
territory, the Embassy of Italy for the Vatican City, a unique case of an
Embassy within the boundaries of its own country). Many international
institutions are based in Rome, notably cultural and scientific ones, or
humanitarian like the FAO.

Modern Rome

Rome is today one of the most important touristic destinations of the world,
due to its immense heritage of archaeological and artistic treasures, as
well as for its unique traditions and the beauty of its views and its
"villas" (parks). Among the most interesting resources, plenty of museums
(i.e., Musei Capitolini, the Vatican Museums, Galleria Borghese, and a great
many others), churches, historical buildings, the monuments and ruins such
as the Roman Forum or the Catacombs.

It is commonly identified by several proper symbols, including the
Colosseum, the she-wolf (Lupa), the imperial eagle, and the symbols of
Christianity. The famous acronym S.P.Q.R. recalls the ancient age and the
unity between Roman Senate and population.

It is called "The Urbs", "caput mundi" (head of the world), "Citt Eterna"
(eternal city), and "Limen Apostolorum" (the threshold of the apostles).

The town's colors are yellow and red (garnet).

Rome has two own holidays, on April 21 (the founding of Rome), and on June
29 (the patron Saints, Peter and Paul). Other dates too are locally
important, like December 8 (the Immaculate Conception) and January 6
(Epiphany).

Among the hundreds of churches, Rome contains the five Major Basilicas of
the Catholic church: San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter's Basilica), San
Paolo fuori le Mura (St. Paul outside the Walls), Santa Maria Maggiore (St.
Mary Major), San Lorenzo fuori le Mura (St. Lawrence outside the Walls), and
San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran), the see of Roman diocese and
the spirtual centre of the entire Catholic Church. The Bishop of Rome is the
Pope, helped by a vicar (usually a cardinal) for his pastoral activity.

Rome has a modern day airport known as Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport.

Proverbs about Rome

   * When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
   * All roads lead to Rome.
   * Rome wasn't built in a day.

During its long history, Rome has always had a scarcity of native
inhabitants, so by tradition a "true" Roman is one whose family has lived in
Rome for no less than 7 generations: this is the original "Romano de Roma"
(in Romanesco, the local dialect of Italian).
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