About the "town" of Rome
2,654,187 (men 47 %; women 53 %)
standard Italian, Roman dialect
GMT/UTC plus one hour (plus two hours in summer)
Annual growth: - 0,4
trade, tourism, manufactory, construction activity
ROME, Caput Mundi during the Roman Empire, capital of Italy since 1870, home of the Catholic Church and the Italian government, is placed on the banks of the Tiber, there where the river, running weakly among the seven hills, creates vast meanders which originate little plains.
With its 2,459,776 inhabitants (2001), Rome is today the biggest and most populous city of Italy.
Located in the middle of the Italian peninsula, the city is easily accessible from most important places both in Italy and abroad. Fiumicino airport (also called Leonardo da Vinci), 26-km south-west of Rome, is the airport for both international and domestic air services.
Non- stop trains run from Stazione Termini every half hour from about 07.00 to 21.15 and metropolitan trains every 15 minutes from Stazione Roma Tiburtina via Ostienze and Transtevere from about 05.00 to 23.00.
There are also night bus services between Stazione Tiburtina and the airport.
Ciampino airport, 13-Km south-east of Rome, is a subsidiary airport used mainly for domestic flights and international charter flights. Rome can be reached via Eurostar train and by an efficient railway line that link it with the most important Italian and international cities.
A network of motorways approaches Rome, including the A1 from northern Italy (Milan, Florence), this joins the busy Rome ring-road (Grande accordo Anulare) at settebagni, from which there are well sign-posted exists to all districts of the city.
The city is well served by two underground railway system besides the fairly efficient bus and tram services. The climate is temperate, with breezy winters and hot summers.
Traditionally founded in 753 BC by Romulus and Remus, Rome began its great development beginning from the 10 century BC till it became first a Republic and then the centre of a great empire, the Roman Empire.
The Eternal City was Caput Mundi (Head of the World) in the Roman era, and from its law and liberal arts and sciences radiated to the confines of the vast Empire, which covered the whole of the known western world. After its fall, in 476 AC, the city underwent a slow decline and was invaded by barbarians.
In 754, by the defeat of the Franks, began the temporal power of the Popes over the State of the Church. On Christmas D 800, Charlemagne was crowned as Augustus and Emperor. With him began the period of the Holy Roman Empire, during which the city reduced to a little, corrupted town with a purely symbolic role.
The fortune of the city during the centuries was distinguished by ups and downs. To an increasing power of the Church corresponded a decline of the city self, field of fights among the noble roman families. As in other large Italian town during the 12th century the Commune of Rome strengthened its administrative position, soon to be annihilated again by the power of the popes and their domination over central Italy, known as Papal States.
Artistically, Rome underwent a period of great rebirth during the Renaissance and the Baroque periods, but politically it freed itself from the domination of the temporal power only in 1871, when it became capital of Italy. The event that marked the rebellion against the popes is known as breach of Porta Pia, and was leaded by the national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi.
In this century, Rome restored its role of the first importance in European history. Seat of the Italian government, seat of the Christianity for the presence of the Vatican, and one of the most important cultural and artistic centre of the world, the city attracts every year millions of tourists with its imposing rests of the past and some of the greatest works of art of the Renaissance and the Baroque.
Read more: History of Rome
ART AND CULTURE
Rome contains an exceptional artistic patrimony, glorious testimony to its great past. Besides the imposing rests of its magnificent history through out all the period of the Roman Empire, Renaissance artists such as Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo were at work here under the papal patronage, along with Masolino in San Clemente, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Perugino, Luca Signorelli.
The works of the architects Borromini and Bernini, masters of the Baroque, left an indelible and representative sign to the city, embellished by a great numbers of palaces, villas, and fountains. Many works of art by the greatest artists of Italy and the world are gathered in the famous museums of the city and of the Vatican.
Rome is the most important bibliographical centre of Italy. Its numerous libraries, such as the Biblioteca dell'Accademia dei Lincei, the Biblioteca Angelica, the Biblioteca Casanatense, the Biblioteca musicale di San Cecilia, and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II, gather the richest collection of books of all Italy.
Among the state Universities, the most important is the Sapienza, along with the University of Tor Vergata and the III University. Among the private ones are the Cattolica, the Libera Università degli studi sociali (LUISS), and the pontifical universities.
In Rome there are various prestigious artistic academies, such as the Accademia of San Cecilia, the Accademia nazionale di arte drammatica, the Instituto centrale del restauro, besides many important cultural institutes -such as the Accademia dei Lincei, the Accademia di San Luca, the CNR, the Istituto per gli studi sul Medio e Estremo Oriente- and many other international academies.
Rome is the Italian centre of dramatic arts and cinema. The famous cinecittà, the "Italian Hollywood", is the prestigious set of many glorious national and international movies.
Read more: History of Art of Rome
Rome is the Italian administrative and political centre, and one of the most important artistic, religious, and tourist centre of the world.
The economy of the city is mainly based on the tertiary industries, which notably improved after the election of Rome as capital of Italy, in 1870.
Besides the necessary urbane development, apt to receive the administrative structures of the state, the stagnant papal economy was replaced by an economy strictly dependent on the state- administration, by great directional centres of the banks, by state-controlled enterprises, and insurance companies.
The demanding of an increasing population and tourism called for a boom of the trade, which in the last century gave birth to numerous small and very small enterprises operating in the highly developed sectors of informatics, telecommunications, and bio-technologies. These enterprises are mainly based on the research and are integrated in the national and international circuits.
Rome has also a leading role as directional and cultural centre. It is seat of the Italian government, the Constitutional Court, the Parliament, of numerous embassies, international organisations such as the FAO, and of the major banks and public corporations. Tourism and craft provide considerable sources of income.
Read more: Roman Economy
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Rome, political, cultural, and religious capital of Italy offers all along the year numerous important national and international events.
Among the most important events: Festival of the 1st May, Summer Season of the Opera, Theatre Season, Literature Festival, Tennis Masters Series, Rome Marathon, Roman Summer, Fashion shows, Museum shows, International Crafts Fair.
Read more: Roman Events and Festivities
SOME FAMOUS PEOPLE
Leone X, Giovanni de Medici (1513-1521); Paul III, Alessandro Farnese (1534-1549); Innocence X, G:B: Pamphilji (1644-1655); Pius IX, Giovanni Maria Ferretti (1846-1878); Leone XIII, Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci (1878-1903); John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla (1978-present). Among the greatest Latin writers: Vergilius (poet, BC 70-19), Horace (poet, BC 65- AD 8), Titus Livy (historian, 59 BC- 17 AD), Cicero (orator, BC 106-43), Tacito (poet, 55 AD-120/130?).
The Roman poet Gioacchino Belli (dialectal poet, 1791-1863). Among the most famous artists: Bernini (architect, 1598-1680), Borromini (architect, 1599-1667). Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), Raphael (painter, 1483-1520), Bramante (architect and painter, 1444-1514), Domenico Bigordi called "Ghirlandaio" (1449-1494), Alessandro Filipepe called "il Botticelli" (1445-1510) thought not Romans, were at work in Rome, leaving a deep artistic sign.
Rome has been one the most important set of the world for great Emperors, Popes, poets, and artists. Among the greatest emperors: Julius Caesar (44 BC), Augustus (27 BC- AD 14), Caligula (37-41), Nero (54-68), Vespasian (69-79), Hadrian (117-138), Marcus Aurelius (161-180), Constantine the Great (313-379).
Among the greatest ancientpopes: Peter Apostle (?-64 AD); Gregorius the Great (590-604); Gregorius VII, Ildebrando della Toscia (1073-1085); Bonifacius VIII, Benedetto Caetani (1295-1303); Sixtus IV, Francesco della Rovere (1471-1431); Julius II, Giuliano della Rovere (1503-1513);