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Comune di Roma
100px File:Roma01.jpg
City flag City seal
City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR
(The Senate and the People of Rome)
Founded 21 April753 BC mythical,
1st millennium BC
Region Latium
Mayor Walter Veltroni
(Left-Wing Democrats)
 - City Proper

 1290 km²
 - City (2004)
 - Metropolitan
 - Density (city proper)

almost 4,000,000
Time zone CET, UTC+1
Coordinates Template:Coor dm
The Colosseum is the international symbol of Rome

Template:ITdot Rome (Italian and Latin: Roma) is the capital of Italy and of its Latium region. It is located on the Tiber and Aniene rivers, near the Mediterranean Sea, at Template:Coor dm. The Vatican City, a sovereign enclave within Rome, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Pope.

Rome is the largest city and comune in Italy; the comune or municipality is one of the largest in Europe with an area of 1290 square kilometers. Within the city limits, the population is 2,823,807 (2004); almost 4 million live in the general area of Rome as represented by the province of Rome. The current mayor of Rome is Walter Veltroni.

With a GDP of €75 billion (higher than New Zealand's and equivalent to Singapore's — all three have roughly the same population of around 4 million), in the year 2001 the comune of Rome produced 6.5% of Italy's total GDP, the highest rate among all of Italy's cities.

The city's history extends nearly 2,800 years, during which time it has been the seat of ancient Rome (the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, Roman Empire), and later the Papal States, Kingdom of Italy and Italian Republic.



Main article: History of Rome

The civilization of ancient Rome originated in the 8th or 9th century BC, when northern tribes migrated to the Italian peninsula to settle around the River Tiber. For several hundred years, Rome was the most important city in the Western world, as the capital of the expansive Roman Empire. With the rise of Christianity, Rome became the center of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Popes. The slow decline of the Roman Empire heralded the beginning of the Middle Ages, but the city regained prominence as the political capital of Europe for several hundred years leading up to the Renaissance. Rome remains influential today, as the capital of Italy and a major world city; its chief European rivals are London, Berlin, and Paris.



Throughout its long history Rome has been a centre of learning, trade and commerce. The native Italian population have shared their city throughout the ages with migrants from across Europe and the wider world. In ancient times a large proportion of the population were foreign merchants, slaves, officials and their descendants who came from across the wide empire which bore the city's name. Today the population is very diverse with immigrants thought to make up as much as 20% of the population of the city.



Today Rome has a dynamic and diverse economy concentrating on innovation, technologies, communications and the service sector. They produce 6.5% of the national GDP (more than any other city in the Italy) and continues to grow at a higher rate than those in the rest of the country. Tourism is inevitably one of Rome's chief industries. The city is also a centre for banking, publishing, insurance, fashion, high-tech industries, housing, cinema (particularly at the famous Cinecittà studios, dubbed the "Hollywood on the Tiber"), and the aerospace industries.

Many international headquarters, government ministries, conference centres, sports venues and museums are located in Rome's principal business districts: the E.U.R. (Esposizione Universale Roma); the Torrino (further south from the E.U.R.); the Magliana; the Parco de' Medici-Laurentina and the so-called Tiburtina-valley along the ancient Via Tiburtina.


A view of the Palalottomatica sports palace (formerly known as Palaeur) from the park around the artificial lake. Rome, EUR district.

Rome has an intercontinental airport named Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport - FCO, but more commonly known as Fiumicino, which also is Italy's chief airport, and the Giovan-Battista Pastine international airport (commonly referred to as Ciampino Airport), a joint civilian and military airport southeast of the city-center, along the Via Appia, which handles mainly charter flights and regional European flights including some low-cost airlines. A third airport, called Aeroporto dell'Urbe, is located in the north of the city along the ancient Via Salaria and handles mainly helicopters and private flights. A fourth airport, called Aeroporto di Centocelle, in the eastern part of Rome between the Via Prenestina and the Via Casilina, has been abandoned for some years now, but is currently being redeveloped as one of the largest public parks in Rome.

A 2-line subway system operates in Rome called the "Metropolitana" or Rome Metro. Construction works for the first branch started in the 1930s under the Fascist government. The line had been planned to quickly connect the main train station (Termini) with the newly planned E42 area in the southern suburbs, where the 1942 Universal Exhibition was supposed to be held. The event never took place because of war. The area was later partly redesigned and renamed EUR in the 1950s to serve as a modern business district. The line was finally opened in 1955 and it's now part of the B Line. The A line opened in 1980 from Ottaviano to Anagnina stations, later extended in stages (1999 - 2000) to Battistini. In the 1990s an extension of the B line was opened from Termini to Rebibbia. A third (C) and a new branch of the B line (B1) are under construction, while a fourth line (D) has been planned. The frequent archaeological findings delay underground work. 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. Today's (2005) total length is 38 km. The two existing lines, A & B, only intersect at one point, Termini Station, the main train station in Rome (which also is the largest train station in Europe, underneath and around which exists now a lively shopping center known as the "Forum Termini" with more than 100 shops of various types). Other stations includes: Tiburtina (second-largest, which is currently being redeveloped and enlarged to become the main high-speed train hub in the city), Ostiense, Trastevere, Tuscolana, S. Pietro, Casilina, Torricola. Deterioration of monuments is due to the heavy traffic, which averages 4 miles per hour, inspite of the audacity of drivers. But the monuments are impeding progress on the subway, something that might reduce traffic. The subway is diverted to avoid monuments, and is halted if it unearths any archeological remains.

The Rome Metro is part of an extensive transport network made of a tramway network, several suburban and urban lines in and around the city of Rome, plus an "express line" to Fiumicino Airport. Whereas most FS-Regionale lines (Regional State Railways) do provide mostly a suburban service with more than 20 stations scattered throughout the city, the Roma-Lido (starting at Ostiense station), the Roma-Pantano (starting nearby Termini) and the Roma-Nord (starting at Flaminio station) lines offer a metro-like service.

Rome also has a comprehensive bus system. The web site (translated in english) of the public transportation company (ATAC) allows a route to be calculated using the buses and subways. Metrebus integrated fare system allows holders of tickets and integrated passes to travel on all companies vehicles, within the validity time of the ticket purchased.

Chronic congestion caused by cars during the 1970s and 1980s led to the banning of unauthorized traffic from the central part of city during workdays from 6.00 a.m to 6 p.m. (this area is officially called Zona a Traffico Limitato, Z.T.L. in short). Heavy traffic due to night-life crowds during week-ends led in recent years to the creation of other Z.T.L.s in the Trastevere and S. Lorenzo districts during the night, and to the experimentation of a new night Z.T.L. also in the city center (plans to create a night Z.T.L. in the Testaccio district as well are underway). In recent years, parking-spaces along the streets in wide areas of the city have been converted to pay-parkings, as new underground parkings spread throughout the city. In spite of all these measures, traffic remains an unsolved problem, as in the rest of the world's cities.The traffic is bad, and the average speed of a car in Rome , in spite of the audacity of the drivers, is only 4 miles an hour.


Rome's skyline

Rome continues to be the major education and research center of Italy, with many major universities that offer degrees in all fields. Among the prestigious educational establishments in Rome is the University of Rome La Sapienza (founded 1303), which is Europe’s biggest university with almost 150,000 students. The city is also home to three other public universities: Università degli studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, more commonly called Roma 2, University of Roma Tre and the Istituto Universitario di Scienze Motorie.

Undisputed as the greatest repository of western art of the last 3,000 years of human history, Rome is home to many foreign academic institutions, as well, such as The American Academy, The British School, The French Institute, The German Archaeological Institute, The Swedish Institute, and The Finnish Institute, The Japan Foundation.

Several private universities are as well located in Rome, as:

  • LUISS University (Libera università internazionale degli studi sociali), probably the most prestigious private university in Rome;
  • Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore, a renowned university in Italy;
  • John Cabot University, a private American University;
  • LUMSA University (Libera Universita Maria SS. Assunta);
  • University of Malta, an International University;
  • Libera Università di Roma "Leonardo da Vinci";
  • Libera Università Degli Studi "S. Pio V";
  • UPTER University;
  • I.S.S.A.S. University.

Still located in Rome are the Accademia di Santa Cecilia - the world's oldest academy of music (founded 1584), St. John's University's Rome campus which is located at the Pontificio Oratorio San Pietro, several academies of fine arts, colleges of the church, medical and Health research instituts.

Monuments and sights

Main article: Category:Monuments and sights of Rome


Houses of worship


Main article: Churches of Rome

Rome is home to over 900 churches.


Patriarchal basilicas
Other basilicas
Other important churches

The following do not yet have Wikipedia articles, but are important nonetheless:

Administrative subdivision of Rome

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The Administrative subdivision of Rome consists in the division of the large territory of Rome into nineteen Districts.

Province of Rome

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Rome is the capital of a province, with an area of 5,352 sq. km, and a total population of 3,700,424 (2001) in 120 comuni. The province can be viewed as the extended metropolitan area of the town of Rome, although in its more peripheral portions, especially to the north, it comprises towns surrounded by firmly rural landscape, just as towns elsewhere thruout Italy.

Markets and shopping areas


Porta Portese

Street market on Sunday mornings, from very early to around 1pm, on the left bank of the Tiber, between Porto Portese and Stazione Trastevere, centred on Via Portuense. The wares are mainly clothes, both old and new. The second-hand clothing stalls are by far the more popular, with the clothes sorted by type (leathers and furs, jeans, coats, children’s clothes, etc) and piled on large tables with everything at the same (low) price. Tables start at 50c, and range up to 20 euro for high-quality leather and fur.

Campo de' Fiori

Campo de' Fiori is one of the oldest markets in Rome, where food and flowers are most frequently found. Though the name literally means "field of flowers," there are no fields in sight; it's in the middle of downtown Rome, off of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. The market is open every morning of the week except Sunday. Campo de' Fiori, surrounded by many bars and restaurants, is also a popular destination at night for locals and foreigners alike.

Symbols and trivia

Rome is commonly identified by several proper symbols, including the Colosseum, the she-wolf (Lupa capitolina), the imperial eagle, and the symbols of Christianity. The famous acronym SPQR recalls the ancient age and the unity between Roman Senate and Roman people.

Rome is called "L'Urbe" (The City), "Caput mundi" (head of the world), "Città Eterna" (eternal city), and "Limen Apostolorum" (the threshold of the apostles).

The town's colors are golden yellow and red (garnet): they stand, respectively, for christian and imperial dignities.

Rome has two holidays of its own: April 21 (the founding of Rome), and June 29 (the feast of its patron saints, Peter and Paul). Other locally important dates are December 8 (the Immaculate Conception) and January 6 (Epiphany).

Rome is surrounded by a belt toll-free motorway named The Grande Raccordo Anulare (commonly shortened "Il GRA" or "Il Raccordo"), which is 68 km long, once encircled the city. Rome has since grown past this motorway, with new districts well beyond it.

Some proverbs about the Eternal City:

  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  • All roads lead to Rome.
  • Rome wasn't built in a day.

During its long history, Rome has always had a scarcity of native inhabitants, so by tradition a "true" Roman is one whose family has lived in Rome for no less than 7 generations: this is the original "Romano de Roma" (in Romanesco, the local dialect of Italian).

For the autonomistic party Lega Nord, Rome is the symbol of the allegedly parasytical Italian central government, crystalized in their slogan Roma ladrona ("Thief Rome").

Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:



  • Roma Europa Festival, September: Annual appointment for modern art and theatre, music and dance, with artists from of all Europe.
  • Festival Romics, October: Comics and Cartoon Festival: exhibitions, cartoon film showings of designers and publishing companies.
  • Roma Jazz Festival, October: Festival of jazz music since of 1876. Italian and international artists.
  • Roman Summers, from June to September: Various events from music to theater, literary meetings and cinema. Events that take place in the most characteristic places in Rome that attract the participation of thousands of artists from all over the world.

Cultural Events

White Night

Series of events at venues throughout Rome on September: concerts, special outdoor performances, churches and monuments open to the public during, museums open all night with free entrance, shops open all nights. ([1])


  • References and bibliography can be found in the more detailed articles linked to in this article.

External links

Template:Wikibooks Template:Wikitravel

Ancient Rome

Christian Rome



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