Rome is a special comune and the capital of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,877,215 residents in, it is also the countrys largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the center of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4.3 million residents. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country geographically located within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
Romes history spans more than 2,500 years. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. Rome is also called the "Caput Mundi" .
After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome slowly fell under the political control of the Papacy, which had settled in the city since the 1st century AD, until in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870.
Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all the popes since Nicholas V pursued coherently along four hundred years an architectonic and urbanistic programme aimed to make of the city the worlds artistic and cultural centre. Due to that, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, sculptors and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.
Rome has the status of a global city. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the worlds most visited tourist destinations with both locations receiving millions of tourists a year. Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics and is the seat of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The city hosts the headquarters of many international business companies, such as Eni, Enel, TIM and national and international banks as UniCredit and BNL. Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many business companies involved in oil industry,pharmaceutical industry and finance services. So, Rome plays a leading role in the national economy. The city is also an important fashion and design center thanks to international brands such as Fendi, Bulgari, Renato Balestra and Salvatore Ferragamo. Romes Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award-winning movies.
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