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Rome is a city and special comune in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region, it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The Vatican City is an independent country geographically located within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Rome's history spans more than two and a half thousand years. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at only around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. The city's early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans and Sabines. Eventually, the city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilisation and by some as the first ever metropolis. It is referred to as "Roma Aeterna" (The Eternal City)] and "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World), two central notions in ancient Roman culture.

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, which had settled in the city since the 1st century AD, until in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870.

Now Rome has the status of a global city. Rome ranked in 2014 as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy.[13] Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the world's most visited tourist destinations with both locations receiving millions of tourists a year. Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics and is the seat of United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Sights

Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is a fantastic work of art that is much more than a mere sculpture. This triumphant example of Baroque art with its soft, natural lines and fantasy creatures embodies movement as the soul of the world. The fountain is a true wonder, a jewel of water and stone that is nestled between the palaces of the historic centre of the city. You can already hear its presence from the nearby streets. Indeed, as you get nearer the sound of its gushing waters grows constantly more intense, reaching a crescendo in the square, where you will find the most breathtaking sight. Suddenly, the space seems to open out and you stand before a symbolic representation of this great force of nature, a tumultuous spring that seems to flow out of the ground. The light and shade effects on the marble make the wind seem to bellow through the drapes and locks of the statues, agitating the waves, creating an extraordinarily intense and spectacular scene. In this Baroque creation, the architecture itself seems to come alive with the current of the revitalising waters.




Colosseum

he Roman Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was commisioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian. The Colosseum is located just east of the Roman Forum and was built to a practical design, with its 80 arched entrances allowing easy access to 55,000 spectators, who were seated according to rank. The Coliseum is huge, an ellipse 188m long and 156 wide. Originally 240 masts were attached to stone corbels on the 4th level. Just outside the Coliseum is the Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino), a 25m high monument built in AD315 to mark the victory of Constantine over Maxentius at Pons Milvius. Vespesian ordered the Colosseum to be build on the site of Nero's palace, the Domus Aurea, to dissociate himself from the hated tyrant. His aim was to gain popularity by staging deadly combats of gladiators and wild animal fights for public viewing. Massacre was on a huge scale: at inaugural games in AD 80, over 9,000 wild animals were killed. The museum is located in the heart of piazza del Colosseo, on the homonymous B(blue) metro line.




Basilica of Saint Paul

The Basilica is within Italian territory and not the territory of the Vatican City State. However, the Holy See fully owns the Basilica, and Italy is legally obligated to recognize its full ownership thereof and to concede to it "the immunity granted by International Law to the headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States". James Michael Harvey was named Archpriest of the Basilica in 2012. The Basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over the burial place of St. Paul, where it was said that, after the Apostle's execution, his followers erected a memorial, called "a cella memoriae". This first edifice was expanded under Valentinian I in the 370s.




Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is situated in the area between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Three thousand years ago, this valley between Campidoglio and the Quirinal, which was to become the future social and political centre of one of the greatest empires of ancient times, was submerged in marshland. By an incredible invention of engineering, which was commissioned by the last two Etruscan kings, the so-called Cloaca Maxima, a canal that is still in function to this very day, allowed for the drainage of the land. The area soon began to develop and already at the end of the 7th century BC, it was home to many markets and a hive of social activity.




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