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Table of contents



It surpassed , in 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 , people, Whitney Oates estimates 1. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire , the city's population declined to less than 50, people. It continued to stagnate or shrink until the Renaissance. This increased to , 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 s.

A construction boom also created a large number of suburbs during the s and s. In mid, there were 2,, residents in the city proper, while some 4. Minors children ages 18 and younger totalled This compares with the Italian average of The average age of a Roman resident is 43 compared to the Italian average of In the five years between and , the population of Rome grew by 6. The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 3.

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 , or 4. 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, or so commercial premises operating in the district are Chinese-owned; around are run by immigrants from other countries around the world; 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.

Peter's Basilica was constructed in 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 churches in Rome in total, aside from the cathedral itself, some others of note include: There are also the ancient Catacombs of Rome underneath the city.

In recent years, there has been a significant growth in Rome's Muslim community, mainly due to immigration from North African and Middle Eastern countries into the city. Since the end of the Roman Republic, Rome is also the centre of an important Jewish community, [88] which was once based in Trastevere , and later in the Roman Ghetto. There lies also the major synagogue in Rome, the Tempio Maggiore. 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 When the Lateran Treaty of 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.

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. 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 — Catholics believe that the Vatican is the last resting place of St.

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: 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. Originally capable of seating 60, spectators, it was used for gladiatorial combat. 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. 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.

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 , 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.

The Fascist regime that ruled in Italy between and 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: Architecturally, Fascism favored the most modern movements, such as Rationalism. Parallel to this, in the s another style emerged, named "Stile Novecento", characterised by its links with ancient Roman architecture. 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 world exhibition , and was called "E. The world exhibition, however, never took place because Italy entered the Second World War in , and the realised buildings were partly destroyed in during the fighting between Italian and German army after the armistice and later abandoned. Also, the Palazzo della Farnesina , the current seat of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs , was designed in 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.

While most of the parks surrounding the villas were destroyed during the building boom of the late 19th century, some of them remain. Villa Doria Pamphili is west of the Gianicolo hill comprising some 1. Also on the Gianicolo hill there is Villa Sciarra , with playgrounds for children and shaded walking areas. The old Roman hippodrome Circus Maximus is another large green space: 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. 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 public basins, not counting the water supplied to the Imperial household, baths, and owners of private villas.


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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: 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 , 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 an ancient Ethiopian obelisk in Rome. Moreover, the centre of Rome hosts also Trajan 's and Antonine Column , two ancient Roman columns with spiral relief.

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. Considering Ponte Nomentano , also built during ancient Rome, which crosses the Aniene , currently there are five ancient Roman bridges still remaining in the city.

Most of the city's public bridges were built in Classical or Renaissance style, but also in Baroque, Neoclassical and Modern styles. 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. 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 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: 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: 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. Rome has a large number of universities and colleges. Its first university, La Sapienza founded in , is one of the largest in the world, with more than , students attending; in it ranked as Europe's 33rd best university [] and in the Sapienza University of Rome ranked as the 62nd in the world and the top in Italy in its World University Rankings.

Tor Vergata in , and Roma Tre in Rome's major libraries include: 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 , 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.

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 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. 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.

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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 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.

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. Maxxi [] features a campus dedicated to culture, experimental research laboratories, international exchange and study and research. 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 Global Language Monitor after Milan , New York, and Paris, and beating London.

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.


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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 when his cookbook Opera dell'arte del cucinare was published.

In the book he lists approximately recipes of the Renaissance cuisine and describes cooking techniques and tools, giving the first known picture of a fork. 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.

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 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 latter took place in the Olympic Stadium , which is also the shared home stadium for local Serie A clubs S.

Lazio , founded in , and A. Roma , founded in , whose rivalry in the Derby della Capitale has become a staple of Roman sports culture. Roma , and Alessandro Nesta for S. Atletico Roma is a minor team that played in First Division until ; its home stadium was Stadio Flaminio. Rome hosted the 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 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 Summer Olympics but it was withdrawn before the deadline for applicant files.

Further, Rome hosted the EuroBasket and is home to the internationally recognized basketball team Virtus Roma. Rugby union is gaining wider acceptance.

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Until the Stadio Flaminio was the home stadium for the Italy national rugby union team , which has been playing in the Six Nations Championship since 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 and winner of five Italian championships, the latter in — , Unione Rugby Capitolina and S. Lazio rugby union branch of the multisport club S. 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 , , and 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.

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 thousand travellers passing through every day. The second-largest station in the city, Roma Tiburtina , has been redeveloped as a high-speed rail terminus. 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. 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, inhabitants, far below other major European cities. 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 s.

The line had been planned to quickly connect the main railway station with the newly planned E42 area in the southern suburbs, where the 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 s to serve as a modern business district. The line was finally opened in , and it is now the south part of the B Line.

The A line opened in from Ottaviano to Anagnina stations, later extended in stages — to Battistini. In the s, 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. B1 connects to line B at Piazza Bologna and has four stations over a distance of 3. It will partly replace the existing Termini -Pantano rail line. It will feature full automated, driverless trains.

A fourth line, D line, is also planned. The first section was projected to open in and the final sections before , 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. 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. 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. 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: 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 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 Rome is since 9 April exclusively and reciprocally twinned only with:. Rome's other partner cities are: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For the historical civilization originating in this city, see Ancient Rome. For other uses, see Rome disambiguation. Capital of Italy in Italy. History of Rome and Timeline of the city of Rome. Latins Italic tribe c. Mayor of Rome and Administrative subdivision of Rome. List of tourist attractions in Rome and List of streets in Rome. List of ancient monuments in Rome and Ancient Roman architecture. List of parks and gardens in Rome. List of fountains in Rome and List of aqueducts in the city of Rome. Talking statues of Rome. List of obelisks in Rome. List of bridges in Rome.

Music of Rome and Events in Rome. List of films set in Rome and List of films set in ancient Rome. Roman dialect and Latin. List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Rome portal Italy portal European Union portal. Archived from the original on 7 July Retrieved 14 February Roma Archived 5 February at the Wayback Machine.

Archived from the original on 21 September Retrieved 17 May Archived from the original on 2 March A Geological Tour of the Eternal City. Archived from the original on 12 June El Futuro del Pasado. Archived from the original PDF on 23 September Retrieved 28 May Topografia e urbanistica di Roma in Italian.

Istituto di Studi Romani. Columbia Encyclopedia 6th ed. Archived from the original on 24 March Archived from the original on 20 March Retrieved 2 August Archived PDF from the original on 16 May Retrieved 9 May Archived from the original on 17 April Archived from the original on 7 March Archived from the original on 24 February Retrieved 8 June The history of Rome. Archived from the original on 17 March Retrieved 9 March Roma Ieri, Oggi, Domani.

Rome - Wikipedia

Newton Compton, Roma, , p. Retrieved 11 August The Early History of Rome. Archived from the original on 30 January Retrieved 12 March An Historical Geography of Europe B. Archived 5 December at the Wayback Machine. See Treaty of Tordesillas and Inter caetera. Archived from the original on 12 February Retrieved 3 February Archived from the original on 10 January Archived from the original on 8 March Mussolini urbanista in Italian.

Archived from the original on 5 February Retrieved 6 March Retrieved 5 October Archived from the original on 16 March Retrieved 13 March Archived from the original on 19 May The Italian Renaissance Italian: The French word renaissance Rinascimento in Italian means "Rebirth" and defines the period as one of cultural revival and renewed interest in classical antiquity after the centuries labeled the Dark Ages by Renaissance humanists.

Character of the city

The Renaissance author Giorgio Vasari used the term "Rebirth" in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects but the concept became widespread only in the 19th century, after the works of scholars such as Jules Michelet and Jacob Burckhardt. Finally the Renaissance had a significant effect on the Papal States and Rome , largely rebuilt by Humanist and Renaissance popes such as Alexander VI and Julius II , who were frequently involved in Italian politics , in arbitrating disputes between competing colonial powers and in opposing the Reformation.

The Italian Renaissance is best known for its achievements in painting , architecture , sculpture , literature , music , philosophy , science and exploration. Italy became the recognized European leader in all these areas by the late 15th century, during the Peace of Lodi agreed between Italian states. The Italian Renaissance peaked in the midth century as domestic disputes and foreign invasions plunged the region into the turmoil of the Italian Wars Following this conflict, smaller Italian states lost their independence and entered a period known as " foreign domination ".

However, the ideas and ideals of the Italian Renaissance endured and spread into the rest of Europe, setting off the Northern Renaissance. Italian explorers from the maritime republics served under the auspices of European monarchs, ushering the Age of discovery. Italian universities attracted polymaths and scholars such as Copernicus , Vesalius , Galileo and Torricelli , playing a key role in the scientific revolution.

Various events and dates of the 17th century, such as the conclusion of the European Wars of Religion in , have been proposed for the end of the Renaissance. Accounts of Renaissance literature usually begin with the three great poets of the 14th century: The Aldine Press, founded by the printer Aldo Manuzio , active in Venice, developed Italic type and portable printed books that could be carried in one's pocket, as well as being the first to publish editions of books in Ancient Greek.

Venice also became the birthplace of the Commedia dell'Arte. Their works include, to name only a few, the Florence Cathedral , St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini, as well as several private residences. In philosophy , thinkers such as Galileo, Machiavelli, Giordano Bruno and Pico della Mirandola , emphasized naturalism and humanism , thus rejecting dogma and scholasticism. By the Late Middle Ages circa onward , Latium , the former heartland of the Roman Empire , and southern Italy were generally poorer than the North.

Rome was a city of ancient ruins, and the Papal States were loosely administered, and vulnerable to external interference such as that of France, and later Spain. In the south, Sicily had for some time been under foreign domination, by the Arabs and then the Normans. Sicily had prospered for years during the Emirate of Sicily and later for two centuries during the Norman Kingdom and the Hohenstaufen Kingdom , but had declined by the late Middle Ages. In contrast, Northern and Central Italy had become far more prosperous, and it has been calculated that the region was among the richest of Europe.

The Crusades had built lasting trade links to the Levant , and the Fourth Crusade had done much to destroy the Byzantine Roman Empire as a commercial rival to the Venetians and Genoese. The main trade routes from the east passed through the Byzantine Empire or the Arab lands and onward to the ports of Genoa , Pisa , and Venice.

Luxury goods bought in the Levant, such as spices, dyes, and silks were imported to Italy and then resold throughout Europe. Moreover, the inland city-states profited from the rich agricultural land of the Po valley. From France, Germany, and the Low Countries, through the medium of the Champagne fairs , land and river trade routes brought goods such as wool , wheat , and precious metals into the region. The extensive trade that stretched from Egypt to the Baltic generated substantial surpluses that allowed significant investment in mining and agriculture.

Thus, while northern Italy was not richer in resources than many other parts of Europe, the level of development, stimulated by trade, allowed it to prosper. In particular, Florence became one of the wealthiest of the cities of Northern Italy, mainly due to its woolen textile production, developed under the supervision of its dominant trade guild , the Arte della Lana.

Wool was imported from Northern Europe and in the 16th century from Spain [4] and together with dyes from the east were used to make high quality textiles. The Italian trade routes that covered the Mediterranean and beyond were also major conduits of culture and knowledge. The recovery of lost Greek classics and, to a lesser extent, Arab advancements on them following the Crusader conquest of the Byzantine heartlands , revitalized medieval philosophy in the Renaissance of the 12th century , just as the refugee Byzantine scholars who migrated to Italy during and following the Turkish conquest of the Byzantines between the 12th and 15th centuries were important in sparking the new linguistic studies of the Renaissance, in newly created academies in Florence and Venice.

Humanist scholars searched monastic libraries for ancient manuscripts and recovered Tacitus and other Latin authors. The rediscovery of Vitruvius meant that the architectural principles of Antiquity could be observed once more, and Renaissance artists were encouraged, in the atmosphere of humanist optimism, to excel the achievements of the Ancients, like Apelles , of whom they read.

In the 13th century, much of Europe experienced strong economic growth. The trade routes of the Italian states linked with those of established Mediterranean ports and eventually the Hanseatic League of the Baltic and northern regions of Europe to create a network economy in Europe for the first time since the 4th century. The city-states of Italy expanded greatly during this period and grew in power to become de facto fully independent of the Holy Roman Empire ; apart from the Kingdom of Naples , outside powers kept their armies out of Italy.

During this period, the modern commercial infrastructure developed, with double-entry book-keeping , joint stock companies , an international banking system, a systematized foreign exchange market , insurance , and government debt. The new mercantile governing class, who gained their position through financial skill, adapted to their purposes the feudal aristocratic model that had dominated Europe in the Middle Ages.

A feature of the High Middle Ages in Northern Italy was the rise of the urban communes which had broken from the control by bishops and local counts. In much of the region, the landed nobility was poorer than the urban patriarchs in the High Medieval money economy whose inflationary rise left land-holding aristocrats impoverished.

The increase in trade during the early Renaissance enhanced these characteristics. The decline of feudalism and the rise of cities influenced each other; for example, the demand for luxury goods led to an increase in trade, which led to greater numbers of tradesmen becoming wealthy, who, in turn, demanded more luxury goods. This change also gave the merchants almost complete control of the governments of the Italian city-states, again enhancing trade.

One of the most important effects of this political control was security. Those that grew extremely wealthy in a feudal state ran constant risk of running afoul of the monarchy and having their lands confiscated, as famously occurred to Jacques Coeur in France. The northern states also kept many medieval laws that severely hampered commerce, such as those against usury , and prohibitions on trading with non-Christians. In the city-states of Italy, these laws were repealed or rewritten.

The 14th century saw a series of catastrophes that caused the European economy to go into recession. The Hundred Years' War between England and France disrupted trade throughout northwest Europe, most notably when, in , King Edward III of England repudiated his debts, contributing to the collapse of the two largest Florentine banks, those of the Bardi and Peruzzi.

In the east, war was also disrupting trade routes, as the Ottoman Empire began to expand throughout the region. Most devastating, though, was the Black Death that decimated the populations of the densely populated cities of Northern Italy and returned at intervals thereafter. It was during this period of instability that the Renaissance authors such as Dante and Petrarch lived, and the first stirrings of Renaissance art were to be seen, notably in the realism of Giotto.

Paradoxically, some of these disasters would help establish the Renaissance.

Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

The Black Death wiped out a third of Europe's population. The resulting labour shortage increased wages and the reduced population was therefore much wealthier, better fed, and, significantly, had more surplus money to spend on luxury goods. As incidences of the plague began to decline in the early 15th century, Europe's devastated population once again began to grow.

The new demand for products and services also helped create a growing class of bankers , merchants, and skilled artisans. The horrors of the Black Death and the seeming inability of the Church to provide relief would contribute to a decline of church influence. Additionally, the collapse of the Bardi and Peruzzi banks would open the way for the Medici to rise to prominence in Florence. Roberto Sabatino Lopez argues that the economic collapse was a crucial cause of the Renaissance.

However, in the leaner years of the 14th century, the wealthy found few promising investment opportunities for their earnings and instead chose to spend more on culture and art. Another popular explanation for the Italian Renaissance is the thesis, first advanced by historian Hans Baron , [10] that states that the primary impetus of the early Renaissance was the long-running series of wars between Florence and Milan.

By the late 14th century, Milan had become a centralized monarchy under the control of the Visconti family. Giangaleazzo Visconti , who ruled the city from to , was renowned both for his cruelty and for his abilities, and set about building an empire in Northern Italy. He launched a long series of wars, with Milan steadily conquering neighbouring states and defeating the various coalitions led by Florence that sought in vain to halt the advance.

This culminated in the siege of Florence, when it looked as though the city was doomed to fall, before Giangaleazzo suddenly died and his empire collapsed. Baron's thesis suggests that during these long wars, the leading figures of Florence rallied the people by presenting the war as one between the free republic and a despotic monarchy, between the ideals of the Greek and Roman Republics and those of the Roman Empire and Medieval kingdoms.

For Baron, the most important figure in crafting this ideology was Leonardo Bruni. This time of crisis in Florence was the period when the most influential figures of the early Renaissance were coming of age, such as Ghiberti , Donatello , Masolino , and Brunelleschi. Inculcated with this republican ideology they later went on to advocate republican ideas that were to have an enormous impact on the Renaissance. High Medieval Northern Italy was further divided by the long-running battle for supremacy between the forces of the Papacy and of the Holy Roman Empire: Warfare between the states was common, invasion from outside Italy confined to intermittent sorties of Holy Roman Emperors.

Renaissance politics developed from this background. Since the 13th century, as armies became primarily composed of mercenaries , prosperous city-states could field considerable forces, despite their low populations. In the course of the 15th century, the most powerful city-states annexed their smaller neighbors. The first part of the Renaissance saw almost constant warfare on land and sea as the city-states vied for preeminence. On land, these wars were primarily fought by armies of mercenaries known as condottieri , bands of soldiers drawn from around Europe, but especially Germany and Switzerland, led largely by Italian captains.

The mercenaries were not willing to risk their lives unduly, and war became one largely of sieges and maneuvering, occasioning few pitched battles. It was also in the interest of mercenaries on both sides to prolong any conflict, to continue their employment. Mercenaries were also a constant threat to their employers; if not paid, they often turned on their patron. If it became obvious that a state was entirely dependent on mercenaries, the temptation was great for the mercenaries to take over the running of it themselves—this occurred on a number of occasions.

At sea, Italian city-states sent many fleets out to do battle. The main contenders were Pisa, Genoa, and Venice, but after a long conflict the Genoese succeeded in reducing Pisa. Venice proved to be a more powerful adversary, and with the decline of Genoese power during the 15th century Venice became pre-eminent on the seas. In response to threats from the landward side, from the early 15th century Venice developed an increased interest in controlling the terrafirma as the Venetian Renaissance opened. On land, decades of fighting saw Florence, Milan and Venice emerge as the dominant players, and these three powers finally set aside their differences and agreed to the Peace of Lodi in , which saw relative calm brought to the region for the first time in centuries.

This peace would hold for the next forty years, and Venice's unquestioned hegemony over the sea also led to unprecedented peace for much of the rest of the 15th century. Until the late 14th century, prior to the Medici, Florence's leading family were the House of Albizzi. In the Ordinances of Justice were enacted which effectively became the constitution of the republic of Florence throughout the Italian Renaissance.

The main challengers of the Albizzi family were the Medicis , first under Giovanni de' Medici , later under his son Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici. The Medici controlled the Medici bank —then Europe's largest bank—and an array of other enterprises in Florence and elsewhere. In , the Albizzi managed to have Cosimo exiled. The Medici became the town's leading family, a position they would hold for the next three centuries.

Florence remained a republic until , traditionally marking the end of the High Renaissance in Florence, but the instruments of republican government were firmly under the control of the Medici and their allies, save during the intervals after and Cosimo and Lorenzo rarely held official posts, but were the unquestioned leaders. Cosimo de' Medici was highly popular among the citizenry, mainly for bringing an era of stability and prosperity to the town.

One of his most important accomplishments was negotiating the Peace of Lodi with Francesco Sforza ending the decades of war with Milan and bringing stability to much of Northern Italy. Cosimo was also an important patron of the arts, directly and indirectly, by the influential example he set. Cosimo was succeeded by his sickly son Piero de' Medici , who died after five years in charge of the city.

In the reins of power passed to Cosimo's twenty-one-year-old grandson Lorenzo , who would become known as "Lorenzo the Magnificent. Under Lorenzo, the Medici rule was formalized with the creation of a new Council of Seventy , which Lorenzo headed. The republican institutions continued, but they lost all power. Lorenzo was less successful than his illustrious forebears in business, and the Medici commercial empire was slowly eroded. Lorenzo continued the alliance with Milan, but relations with the papacy soured, and in , Papal agents allied with the Pazzi family in an attempt to assassinate Lorenzo.

Although the plot failed, Lorenzo's young brother, Giuliano , was killed, and the failed assassination led to a war with the Papacy and was used as justification to further centralize power in Lorenzo's hands. Renaissance ideals first spread from Florence to the neighbouring states of Tuscany such as Siena and Lucca. The Tuscan culture soon became the model for all the states of Northern Italy, and the Tuscan variety of Italian came to predominate throughout the region, especially in literature. In Francesco Sforza came to power in Milan and rapidly transformed that still medieval city into a major centre of art and learning that drew Leone Battista Alberti.

Venice , one of the wealthiest cities due to its control of the Adriatic Sea, also became a centre for Renaissance culture, especially architecture. Smaller courts brought Renaissance patronage to lesser cities, which developed their characteristic arts: In Naples , the Renaissance was ushered in under the patronage of Alfonso I who conquered Naples in and encouraged artists like Francesco Laurana and Antonello da Messina and writers like the poet Jacopo Sannazaro and the humanist scholar Angelo Poliziano.

In the Papacy returned to Rome, but that once imperial city remained poor and largely in ruins through the first years of the Renaissance. He launched a dramatic rebuilding effort that would eventually see much of the city renewed. As the papacy fell under the control of the wealthy families, such as the Medici and the Borgias the spirit of Renaissance art and philosophy came to dominate the Vatican. The popes also became increasingly secular rulers as the Papal States were forged into a centralized power by a series of "warrior popes".

The nature of the Renaissance also changed in the late 15th century. The Renaissance ideal was fully adopted by the ruling classes and the aristocracy. In the early Renaissance artists were seen as craftsmen with little prestige or recognition. By the later Renaissance the top figures wielded great influence and could charge great fees.

A flourishing trade in Renaissance art developed. While in the early Renaissance many of the leading artists were of lower- or middle-class origins, increasingly they became aristocrats. As a cultural movement, the Italian Renaissance affected only a small part of the population. Italy was the most urbanized region of Europe, but three quarters of the people were still rural peasants. Some scholars see a trend towards refeudalization in the later Renaissance as the urban elites turned themselves into landed aristocrats.

The situation differed in the cities. These were dominated by a commercial elite; as exclusive as the aristocracy of any Medieval kingdom. This group became the main patrons of and audience for Renaissance culture. Below them there was a large class of artisans and guild members who lived comfortable lives and had significant power in the republican governments. This was in sharp contrast to the rest of Europe where artisans were firmly in the lower class.

Literate and educated, this group did participate in the Renaissance culture. Like the peasants, the Renaissance had little effect on them. Historians debate how easy it was to move between these groups during the Italian Renaissance. Examples of individuals who rose from humble beginnings can be instanced, but Burke notes two major studies in this area that have found that the data do not clearly demonstrate an increase in social mobility. Most historians feel that early in the Renaissance social mobility was quite high, but that it faded over the course of the 15th century.

An upper-class figure would control hundreds of times more income than a servant or labourer. Some historians see this unequal distribution of wealth as important to the Renaissance, as art patronage relies on the very wealthy. The Renaissance was not a period of great social or economic change, only of cultural and ideological development.

It only touched a small fraction of the population, and in modern times this has led many historians, such as any that follow historical materialism , to reduce the importance of the Renaissance in human history. These historians tend to think in terms of " Early Modern Europe " instead. Roger Osborne [25] argues that "The Renaissance is a difficult concept for historians because the history of Europe quite suddenly turns into a history of Italian painting, sculpture and architecture. The end of the Renaissance is as imprecisely marked as its starting point.

For many, the rise to power in Florence of the austere monk Girolamo Savonarola in marks the end of the city's flourishing; for others, the triumphant return of the Medici marks the beginning of the late phase in the arts called Mannerism. Other accounts trace the end of the Italian Renaissance to the French invasions of the early 16th century and the subsequent conflict between France and Spanish rulers for control of Italian territory.

With the Medici returned to power, now as Grand Dukes of Tuscany , the counter movement in the church continued. In the Sacred Congregation of the Inquisition was formed and a few years later the Index Librorum Prohibitorum banned a wide array of Renaissance works of literature, which marks the end of the illuminated manuscript together with Giulio Clovio , who is considered the greatest illuminator of the Italian High Renaissance, and arguably the last very notable artist in the long tradition of the illuminated manuscript, before some modern revivals.

Equally important was the end of stability with a series of foreign invasions of Italy known as the Italian Wars that would continue for several decades. These began with the invasion by France that wreaked widespread devastation on Northern Italy and ended the independence of many of the city-states.