From Textus Receptus
Rome (English pronunciation: /roʊm/; Italian: Roma About this sound listen (help·info), pronounced [ˈroːma]; Latin: Rōma) is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated municipality (central area), with over 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 (496.3 sq mi), while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 3.46 million. The metropolitan area of Rome is estimated by OECD to have a population of 3.7 million. It is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber river within the Lazio region of Italy. The city has been one of history's most powerful and important centres, being the home of the emperor during the Roman Empire and the Italian government. The city also has a significant place in Christianity and is the present day home of the Roman Catholic Church and the site of the Vatican City, an independent city-state run by the Catholic Church. Due to this, the city has often been nicknamed "Caput Mundi" (Latin for "Capital of the World") and "The Eternal City". Also, Rome is widely regarded as one of the world's most beautiful ancient cities.
Rome's history as a city spans over two and a half thousand years, as one of the founding and most powerful cities of Western Civilisation. It was the centre of the Roman Empire, which dominated Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for over four hundred years from the 1st Century BC until the 4th Century AD, and during the Ancient Roman era, the city was the most powerful in Europe. During the Middle-Ages, Rome was home to some of the most powerful popes, such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into a modern centre of the arts and one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence. The current-day version of St Peter's Basilica was built and the Sistine Chapel's ceiling was painted by artist Michelangelo. Famous artists and architects, such as Bramante, Leonardo da Vinci, Bernini and Raphael resided for some time in Rome, contributing to its impressive Renaissance and Baroque architecture. As a modern city, it has been capital of the unified Italy since 1870, and grew mainly in two periods either side of World War II. As it is one of the few major European cities that escaped the war relatively unscathed, central Rome remains essentially Renaissance and Baroque in character. Rome has had an immense historic influence to the world and modern society over the ages, particularly during ancient times, mainly in subjects such as architecture, art, culture, politics, literature, law, philosophy and religion.
Modern Rome is a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis, and is Italy's capital of politics, economy, and media. Rome is a city rich in history, art and culture, and the vastity of its priceless monuments and treasures lead it to have many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its modern and ancient global influence in politics, literature, culture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine lead it to being an Alpha- world city, according to Loughborough University and GaWC in 2008, and, is the only Alpha global city in Italy, except Milan. The city is home to the Cinecittà Studios, which are the largest film and television production facilities in continental Europe, and famous classic films, such as "La Dolce Vita" and "Ben Hur" have been filmed in the city. Currently, and since the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the metropolis serves as one of Europe's major political centres, with worldwide organizations such as FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFT), and the NATO Defence College being headquartered in the city. Rome is also Italy's capital of business and finance, along with Milan. The Rome metropolitan area has a GDP of €109 billion, and according to a 2008 study, the city is the world's 35th richest city by purchasing power, with a GDP of €94.376 billion ($121.5 billion), and is the world's 18th most expensive city (in 2009). Italian mega-companies, such as Eni, Enel, Telecom Italia, Agip and Alitalia, are headquartered in the city. Were Rome a country, it would be the world's 52nd biggest economy, and would have a GDP near the size of that of Egypt. The city, also had, in 2003, Italy's 2nd highest GDP per capita (after Milan), that of €29,622 (US 37,412), which is 134.1% of the EU GDP per capita average.
The city hosted the 1960 Olympic Games, with great success, and is also an official candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Rome is the third-most-visited tourist destination in the European Union, and its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are amongst the world's 50 most visited tourist destinations (the Vatican Museums receiving 4.2 million tourists and the Colosseum receiving 4 million tourists every year).
Rome's early history is shrouded in legend. According to Roman tradition, the city was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus on 21 April 753 BC.
The legendary origin of the city's name is the traditional founder and first ruler. It is said that Romulus and Remus decided to build a city. After an argument, Romulus killed his brother Remus. Then he named it after himself, Rome. More recently, attempts have been made to find a linguistic root for the name Rome. Possibilities include derivation from Greek language Ῥώμη meaning bravery, courage; possibly the connection is with a root *rum-, "teat", with possible reference to the totem wolf that adopted and suckled the cognately-named twins Romulus and Remus. Etruscan gives us the word Rumach, "from Rome", from which Ruma can be extracted. Its further etymology, as with that of most Etruscan words, remains unknown. The Basque scholar Manuel de Larramendi thought that the origin could be related to the Basque language word orma (modern Basque kirreal), "wall".
Archaeological evidence supports the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built in the area of the future Roman Forum. While some archaeologists argue that Rome was indeed founded in the middle of the 8th century BC, the date is subject to controversy. The original settlement developed into the capital of the Roman Kingdom (ruled by a succession of seven kings, according to tradition), and then the Roman Republic (from 510 BC, governed by the Senate), and finally the Roman Empire (from 27 BC, ruled by an Emperor). This success depended on military conquest, commercial predominance, as well as selective assimilation of neighbouring civilisations, most notably the Etruscans and Greeks. From its foundation Rome, although losing occasional battles, had been undefeated in war until 386 BC, when it was briefly occupied by the Gauls. According to the legend, the Gauls offered to deliver Rome back to its people for a thousand pounds of gold, but the Romans refused, preferring to take back their city by force of arms rather than ever admitting defeat, after which the Romans recovered the city in the same year.
The Roman Republic was wealthy, powerful and stable before it became an empire. According to tradition, Rome became a republic in 509 BC. However, it took a few centuries for Rome to become the great city of popular imagination, and it only became a great empire after the rule of Augustus (Octavian). By the 3rd century BC, Rome had become the pre-eminent city of the Italian peninsula, having conquered and defeated the Sabines, the Etruscans and most of the Greek colonies in Sicily, Campania and Southern Italy in general. During the Punic Wars between Rome and the great Mediterranean empire of Carthage, Rome's stature increased further as it became the capital of an overseas empire for the first time. Beginning in the 2nd century BC, Rome went through a significant population expansion as Italian farmers, driven from their ancestral farmlands by the advent of massive, slave-operated farms called latifundia, flocked to the city in great numbers. The victory over Carthage in the First Punic War brought the first two provinces outside the Italian peninsula, Sicily and Sardinia. Parts of Spain (Hispania) followed, and in the beginning of the 2nd century the Romans got involved in the affairs of the Greek world. By then all Hellenistic kingdoms and the Greek city-states were in decline, exhausted from endless civil wars and relying on mercenary troops. This saw the fall of Greece in 146 BC, which ended up with what is known as the Greek Dark Ages and Roman rule in Greece.
The Roman Empire really began when Emperor Augustus (63 BC–AD 14; also known as Octavian) founded the principate in 27 BC, which was a monarchy system which was headed by an emperor holding power for life, rather than making himself dictator like Julius Caesar had done, which had resulted in his assassination on 15 March, 44 BC. At home, Emperor Augustus started off a great programme of social, political and economic reform and grand-scale reconstruction of the city of Rome. The city became dotted with impressive and magnificent new buildings, palaces, fora and basilicae. He became a great and enlightened patron of the arts, and his court was surrounded by Virgil, Horace and Propertius. His rule also established the Pax Romana, a long period of relative peace which lasted approximately 200 years. To follow him were emperors such as Caligula, Nero, Trajan, and Hadrian, to name a few. Roman emperor Nero was well-known for his extravagance, cruelty, tyranny, and the myth that he was the emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned" during the night of 18 to 19 July 64 AD.
Roman dominance expanded over most of Europe and the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, while its population surpassed one million inhabitants. For almost a thousand years, Rome was the most politically important, richest, and largest city in the Western world. After the Empire started to decline and was split, it lost its capital status to Milan and then to Ravenna, and was surpassed in prestige by the Eastern capital of the Roman Empire Constantinople whose inhabitants continued to call themselves Roman until the capture of the city by the Ottomans under Sultan Mehmet II in 1453.
Fall of the (Western) Empire and Middle Ages
With the reign of Constantine I, the 'Bishop of Rome' gained political as well as religious importance, eventually becoming known as the Pope and establishing Rome as the centre of the Catholic Church. After the Sack of Rome in 410 AD by Alaric I and the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Rome alternated between Byzantine and Germanic control. Its population declined to a mere 20,000 during the Early Middle Ages, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation. Rome remained nominally part of the Byzantine Empire until 751 AD, when the Lombards finally abolished the Exarchate of Ravenna. In 756, Pepin the Short gave the Pope temporal jurisdiction over Rome and surrounding areas, thus creating the Papal States. In 846, Muslim Arabs invaded Rome and looted St. Peter's Basilica.
Rome remained the capital of the Papal States until its annexation by the Kingdom of Italy in 1870; the city became a major pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages and the focus of struggles between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire starting with Charlemagne, who was crowned its first emperor in Rome in 800 by Pope Leo III. 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 (1309–1377).
The latter half of the 15th century saw the seat of the Italian Renaissance move to Rome from Florence. The Papacy wanted to equal and surpass the grandeur of other Italian cities and to this end created ever more extravagant churches, bridges, squares and public spaces, including a new Saint Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, Ponte Sisto (the first bridge to be built across the Tiber since antiquity), and Piazza Navona. The Popes were also patrons of the arts engaging such artists as Michelangelo, Perugino, Raphael, Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli, Botticelli, and Cosimo Rosselli.
The period was also infamous for papal corruption, with many Popes fathering children, and engaging in nepotism and simony. The corruption of the Popes and the extravagance of their building projects led, in part, to the Reformation and, in turn, the Counter-Reformation. Popes, such as Alexander VI, were well-known for their decadence, wild parties, extravagance and immoral lives. However, under these extravagant and rich popes, Rome was transformed into a centre of art, poetry, music, literature, education and culture. Rome became able to compete with other major European cities of the time in terms of wealth, grandeur, the arts, learning and architecture.
The Italian Renaissance in Rome more or less began when the end of the French captivity came in 1377, and the return of the papacy to Rome. Pope Martin V (1417–1431), planned to renew the Roman Catholic Church, and pursue new spiritual and political reforms. Martin V and his successors began to follow these new instructions, and Pope Nicholas V (1447–1455) really began to plan out much of the Renaissance-style urban re-development of the city.
The Renaissance period changed Rome's face dramatically, with works like the Pietà by Michelangelo and the frescoes of the Borgia Apartment, all made during Innocent's reign. Rome reached the highest point of splendour under Pope Julius II (1503–1513) and his successors Leo X and Clement VII, both members of the Medici family. In this twenty-years period Rome became one of the greatest centres of art in the world. The old St. Peter's Basilica built by Emperor Constantine the Great (which by then was in a terrible state) was demolished and a new one begun. The city hosted artists like Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli and Bramante, who built the temple of San Pietro in Montorio and planned a great project to renovate the Vatican. Raphael, who in Rome became one the most famous painters of Italy creating frescos in the Cappella Niccolina, the Villa Farnesina, the Raphael's Rooms, plus many other famous paintings. Michelangelo started the decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and executed the famous statue of the Moses for the tomb of Julius. Rome lost in part its religious character, becoming increasingly a true Renaissance city, with a great number of popular feasts, horse races, parties, intrigues and licentious episodes. Its economy was rich, with the presence of several Tuscan bankers, including Agostino Chigi, who was a friend of Raphael and a patron of arts. Before his early death, Raphael also promoted for the first time the preservation of the ancient ruins.
Towards the reunification of Italy
The rule of the Popes was interrupted by the short-lived Roman Republic (1798), which was built under the influence of the French Revolution. During Napoleon's reign, Rome was annexed into his empire and was technically part of France. After the fall of Napoleon's Empire, new states were created in Italy through the Congress of Vienna of 1814. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily) under Bourbon Ferdinand IV, the restored Papal States, and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia under King Charles-Albert. The two regions of Venetia and Lombardy were given to the Austrians under their direct control for some time.
Another Roman Republic arose in 1849, within the framework of revolutions of 1848. Two of the most influential figures of the Italian unification, Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi, fought for the short-lived republic. However, the actions of these two great men would not have resulted in unification without the sly leadership of Camille Cavour, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.
Rome became caught up in the nationalistic turmoil of the 19th century and twice gained and lost a short-lived independence. Rome became the focus of hopes of Italian reunification when the rest of Italy was reunited under the Kingdom of Italy with a temporary capital at Florence. In 1861, Rome was declared the capital of Italy even though it was still under the control of the Pope. During the 1860s, the last vestiges of the Papal States were under the French protection Napoleon III. And it was only when this was lifted in 1870, owing to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, that Italian troops were able to capture Rome through Porta Pia (see capture of Rome). Afterwords, Pope Pius IX declared himself as prisoner in the Vatican, and in 1871, the capital of Italy was moved from Florence, to Rome.
Soon after World War I, Rome witnessed the rise to power of Italian Fascism guided by Benito Mussolini, who marched on the city in 1922, eventually declaring a new Empire and allying Italy with Nazi Germany. This was a period of rapid growth in population, from 212,000 people at the time of unification to more than 1,000,000, but this trend was halted by World War II, during which Rome was damaged by both Allied forces bombing and Nazi occupation. After the execution of Mussolini and the end of the war, a 1946 referendum abolished the monarchy in favour of the Italian Republic.
Rome grew momentously after the war, as one of the driving forces behind the "Italian economic miracle" of post-war reconstruction and modernization. It became a fashionable city in the 1950s and early 1960s, the years of la dolce vita ("the sweet life"), with popular classic fims such as Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita. being filmed in the city's iconic Cinecittà Studios. A new rising trend in population continued until the mid-1980s, when the commune had more than 2,800,000 residents; after that, population started to slowly decline as more residents moved to nearby suburbs.
Rome hosted the 1960 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 1990 FIFA football World Cup), the Villaggio Olimpico (Olympic Village, created to host the athletes and redeveloped after the games as a residential district), etc. Rome is also an official candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games, along with Milan, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Brisbane and Montreal.
Many of the monuments of Rome were restored by the Italian state and by the Vatican for the 2000 Jubilee.
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 located in Rome, notably cultural and scientific ones - such as the American Institute, the British School, the French Academy, the Scandinavian Institutes, the German Archaeological Institute - for the honour of scholarship in the Eternal City, and humanitarian ones, such as the FAO. Rome, also hosts major international and worldwide political and cultural organizations, such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFT), and the NATO Defence College.
Rome is currently an alpha- world city, along with Chicago, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Athens, Zurich, Mexico City, Prague, Budapest, Amsterdam, Vienna and Dublin, to name a few. Rome was in 2008, also ranked 15th out of all the cities of the world for global importance, mainly for cultural experience.
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: plenty of museums - (Musei Capitolini, the Vatican Museums, Galleria Borghese, and a great many others) — aqueducts, fountains, churches, palaces, historical buildings, the monuments and ruins of the Roman Forum, and the Catacombs. Rome is the 3rd most visited city in the EU, after London and Paris, and receives an average of 7-10 million tourists a year, which sometimes doubles on holy years. The Colosseum (4 million tourists) and the Vatican Museums (4.2 million tourists) are the 39th and 37th (respectively) most visited places in the world, according to a recent study.
Among its hundreds of churches, Rome contains the only four Major Basilicas of the Catholic Church: Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rome's cathedral), Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter's Basilica), Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura (Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls), and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major). Along with the minor basilica of Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura (Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls), those churches correspond to the five ancient sees of chalcedonian Christianity namely Rome, Byzantium, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem respectively. The Bishop of Rome is the Pope.
Capital of Italy
Rome is the national capital of Italy and is the seat of the Italian Government. The official residences of the President of the Italian Republic and the Italian Prime Minister, the seats of both houses of the Italian Parliament and that of the Italian Constitutional Court are located in the historic centre. The state ministries are spread out around the city; these include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is located in Palazzo della Farnesina near the Olympic stadium.
Rome constitutes one of Italy's 8,101 communes, and is the largest both in terms of land area and population. It is governed by a mayor, currently Gianni Alemanno, and a city council. The seat of the commune is in on the Capitoline Hill the historic seat of government in Rome. The local administration in Rome is commonly referred to as "Campidoglio", the name of the hill in the Roman dialect.
Rome is divided into 19 administrative areas, called municipi or municipalities. They were created in 1972 for administrative reasons to increase decentralisation in the city. Each municipality is governed by a president and a council of four members who are elected by the residents of the municipality every five years. The municipalities frequently cross the boundaries of the traditional, non-administrative divisions of the city.
Rioni of Rome
Rome is also divided into differing types of non-administrative divisions. The historic centre is divided into 22 rioni, all of which are located within the Aurelian Walls except Prati and Borgo.
The Rioni have changed in number throughout history, from ancient Rome, the medieval period, to the Renaissance. They were later organized in a more precise way by Pope Benedict XIV in 1743.
Even after Napoleon I lost his power in the city, there were no sensible changes in the organization of the city, until Rome became the capital of the new born Italy. The needs of the new capital caused a great urbanization and an increase of the population, both within the Aurelian walls and outside them. In 1874 the rioni became 15 adding Esquilino, obtained taking a part from Monti. At the beginning of the 20th century some rioni started being split up and the first parts outside the Aurelian walls started being considered part of the city.
In 1921 the number of the rioni increased to 22. Prati was the last rione to be established and the only one outside the Aurelian walls.
The latest reform, which is still mostly valid, was made in 1972: Rome was divided in 20 circoscrizioni (later renamed municipi, one of which has since become an independent municipality) and all the 22 rioni (thus the historical center) were placed in the first one, Municipio I.
The complete list of the modern rioni, in order of number, is the following:
- 1. Monti
- 2. Trevi
- 3. Colonna
- 4. Campo Marzio
- 5. Ponte
- 6. Parione
- 7. Regola
- 8. Sant'Eustachio
- 9. Pigna
- 10. Campitelli
- 11. Sant'Angelo
- 12. Ripa
- 13. Trastevere
- 14. Borgo
- 15. Esquilino
- 16. Ludovisi
- 17. Sallustiano
- 18. Castro Pretorio
- 19. Celio
- 20. Testaccio
- 21. San Saba
- 22. Prati
Rome is in the Lazio region of central Italy on the Tiber river (Italian: Tevere). The original settlement developed on hills that faced onto a ford beside the Tiber island, the only natural ford of the river. The historic centre of Rome was built on seven hills: the Aventine Hill, the Caelian Hill, the Capitoline Hill, the Esquiline Hill, the Palatine Hill, the Quirinal Hill, and the Viminal Hill. The city is also crossed by another river the Aniene which joins the Tiber north of the historic centre.
Although the city centre is about 24 km (14.9 mi) inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the city territory extends to the shore, where the south-western district of Ostia is located. The altitude of the central part of Rome ranges from 13 m (43 ft) above sea level (at the base of the Pantheon) to 139 m (456 ft) above sea level (the peak of Monte Mario). The Commune of Rome covers an overall area of about 1,285 km2 (496 sq mi), including many green areas.
Throughout the history of Rome, the urban limits of the city were considered to be the area within the city walls. Originally, these consisted of the Servian Wall, which was built twelve years after the Gaulish sack of the city in 390 BC. This contained most of the Esquiline and Caelian hills, as well as the whole of the other five. Rome outgrew the Servian Wall, but no more walls were constructed until almost 700 years later, when, in 270 AD, Emperor Aurelian began building the Aurelian Walls. These were almost 19 km (12 mi) long, and were still the walls the troops of the Kingdom of Italy had to breach to enter the city in 1870. Modern Romans frequently consider the city's urban area to be delimited by its ring-road, the Grande Raccordo Anulare, which circles the city centre at a distance of about 10 km.
The Commune of Rome, however, covers considerably more territory and extends to the sea at Ostia, the largest town in Italy that is not a commune in its own right. The Commune covers an area roughly three times the total area within the Raccordo and is comparable in area to the entire provinces of Milan and Naples, and to an area six times the size of the territory of these cities. It also includes considerable areas of abandoned marsh land which is suitable neither for agriculture nor for urban development.
As a consequence, the density of the Commune is not that high, the communal territory being divided between highly-urbanised areas and areas designated as parks, nature reserves, and for agricultural use. The Province of Rome is the largest by area in Italy. At 5,352 km², its dimensions are comparable to the region of Liguria.
For more article, see External Link below.
- Churches of Rome
- Glocal Forum, headquartered in Rome
- Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
- List of ancient monuments in Rome
- Shopping areas and markets in Rome
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