Rome (Roma), the Eternal City has endured for over 2,800 years and has a history and an appeal like no other city in the world.
Rome is the capital of Italy, and its largest city. The mixture of the modern city and the plethora of monuments, piazzas, villas, museums, churches, Egyptian obelisks, along with the Colosseum, the Forum and Vatican City results in an epic, glorious ambience that will have you hooked and anticipating your next visit.
The early history of Rome is legendary. According to tradition, the city was founded by Romulus, the twin of Remus. The twins decided to build a city, but in an argument Romulus killed Remus and established the city and named it after himself.
Rome is synonymous with history. Where else can you walk in the same footsteps as the Caesars, St Peter, the Popes, Michelangelo, Dante, Raphael to name but a few? Rome also served as the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.
In the 8th century, it was the capital of the Papal States.
Over the years, Etruscan kings were replaced with a republic, and the rulers became Emperors. During these centuries, Rome had periods of decline, then periods of growth. It was not until the 1800's that a new Roman Republic was declared and finally, in 1872, Italian forces took over the city and it was declared the capital of Italy.
From 1872 to 1921, the population growth exploded, from 200,000 to 660,000. Today, the population exceeds 2.7 million.
Rome is the seat of government, learning and arts. It's the most popular tourist attraction in Italy and amid all the history is a modern city buzzing with life. From its restaurants, pizzerias, trattorias, bars, museums, designer stores, street markets, monuments, it's a true kaleidoscope of colors, aromas and excitement.
The "Eternal City" of Rome is the largest open-air museum in all of Europe with dozens of must-see, photogenic sites. Major attractions in the City Center are shown on the metro map above.
The real charm of Rome is that you can easily walk to most sites. For example, after a mid-morning tour of the impressive Pantheon, one could stroll through Piazza Navona, enjoy a gelato in Campo De Fiori, then walk across the historic Ponte Sisto Bridge into Trastevere - Rome's oldest neighborhood - for an enjoyable lunch. Total miles walked? Less than three!
From Trastevere, it's only a 20-minute walk along the Tiber to the Vatican. After a tour of Saint Peter's Basilica, another short walk to Castel St. Angelo, where the best views of Rome are found atop that impressive castle.
As you can see, Rome is a walkable city, and by walking you get a real feel for the ambiance of Rome and the Italian way of life. Good, free walking maps are available all over the city, so hit the cobblestones.
Italy was certainly influenced by many powerful cultures and political forces over time, including the Byzantines, Etruscans and Greeks, but it was the world-changing impact of both the Roman civilization and the Italian Renaissance that contributed most-significantly to its status in the modern world.
If you're planning a trip to Rome, regardless of length, the staff at worldatlas.com can surely help make your trip more enjoyable. We lived and worked in this glorious city for over three years and the information provided on these pages is based on our real-life experiences in Rome, as well as across Italy.
Major Rome attractions include The Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Trastevere, the Spanish Steps, Coliseum, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the views from Gianicolo Hill. The "Eternal City" is romantic, fashionable and a favorite destination for visitors from around the world.
Most international travelers arrive at Fiumicino International Airport, and from there a taxi or train to the City Center is easy to arrange.
Santa Maria in Trastevere
The view of Rome from Gianicolo Hill