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Caput Mundi during the Roman Empire, capital of Italy

since 1870, home of the Catholic Church and the
Italian government, is placed on the banks of the
Tiber, there where the river, running weakly among
the seven hills, creates vast meanders which
originate little plains. With its 2,459,776
inhabitants (2001), Rome is today the biggest and
most populous city of Italy.
Located in the middle of the Italian peninsula,
the city is easily accessible from most important
places both in Italy and abroad. Fiumicino
airport (also called Leonardo da Vinci), 26-km
south-west of Rome, is the airport for both
international and domestic air services. Non- stop trains run from Stazione Termini every
half hour from about 07.00 to 21.15 and metropolitan trains every 15 minutes from Stazione
Roma Tiburtina via Ostienze and Transtevere from about 05.00 to 23.00. There are also night
bus services between Stazione Tiburtina and the airport.
Ciampino airport, 13-Km south-east of Rome, is a subsidiary airport used mainly for
domestic flights and international charter flights. Rome can be reached via Eurostar train and
by an efficient railway line that link it with the most important Italian and international cities.
A network of motorways approaches Rome, including the A1 from northern Italy
(Milan, Florence), this joins the busy Rome ring-road (Grande accordo Anulare) at settebagni,
from which there are well sign-posted exists to all districts of the city.
The city is well served by two underground railway system besides the fairly efficient
bus and tram services. The climate is temperate, with breezy winters and hot summers.

Traditionally founded in 753 BC by Romulus
and Remus, Rome began its great development
beginning from the 10 century BC till it became first
a Republic and then the centre of a great empire, the
Roman Empire.
The Eternal City was Caput Mundi (Head of
the World) in the Roman era, and from its law and
liberal arts and sciences radiated to the confines of
the vast Empire, which covered the whole of the
known western world. After its fall, in 476 AC, the city underwent a slow decline and was
invaded by barbarians.
In 754, by the defeat of the Franks, began the temporal power of the Popes over
the State of the Church. On Christmas D 800, Charlemagne was crowned as Augustus and
Emperor. With him began the period of the Holy Roman Empire, during which the city
reduced to a little, corrupted town with a purely symbolic role.
The fortune of the city during the centuries was distinguished by ups and downs. To an
increasing power of the Church corresponded a decline of the city self, field of fights among
the noble roman families. As in other large Italian town during the 12th century the Commune
of Rome strengthened its administrative position, soon to be annihilated again by the power of
the popes and their domination over central Italy, known as Papal States.
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Artistically, Rome underwent a period of great rebirth during the Renaissance and the
Baroque periods, but politically it freed itself from the domination of the temporal power only
in 1871, when it became capital of Italy. The event that marked the rebellion against the popes
is known as breach of Porta Pia, and was leaded by the national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi.
In this century, Rome restored its role of the first importance in European history. Seat of the
Italian government, seat of the Christianity for the presence of the Vatican, and one of the
most important cultural and artistic centre of the world, the city attracts every year millions of
tourists with its imposing rests of the past and some of the greatest works of art of the
Renaissance and the Baroque.


Rome contains an exceptional artistic
patrimony, glorious testimony to its great past.
Besides the imposing rests of its magnificent
history through out all the period of the
Roman Empire, Renaissance artists such as
Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo were at work
here under the papal patronage, along with
Masolino in San Clemente, Ghirlandaio,
Botticelli, Perugino, Luca Signorelli.
The works of the architects Borromini and Bernini, masters of the Baroque, left an
indelible and representative sign to the city, embellished by a great numbers of palaces, villas,
and fountains. Many works of art by the greatest artists of Italy and the world are gathered in
the famous museums of the city and of the Vatican.
Rome is the most important bibliographical centre
of Italy. Its numerous libraries, such as the Biblioteca
dell'Accademia dei Lincei, the Biblioteca Angelica, the
Biblioteca Casanatense, the Biblioteca musicale di San
Cecilia, and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio
Emanuele II, gather the richest collection of books of all
Among the state Universities, the most important
is the Sapienza, along with the University of Tor Vergata
and the III University. Among the private ones are the
Cattolica, the Libera Universit degli studi sociali
In Rome there are various prestigious artistic
academies, such as the Accademia of San Cecilia, the Accademia nazionale di arte
drammatica, the Instituto centrale del restauro, besides many important cultural institutes
-such as the Accademia dei Lincei, the Accademia di San Luca, the CNR, the Istituto per gli
studi sul Medio e Estremo Oriente- and many other international academies.
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Rome is the Italian centre of dramatic arts and cinema. The famous cinecitt, the "Italian
Hollywood", is the prestigious set of many glorious national and international movies.


Among the most famous artists: Bernini (architect, 1598-1680), Borromini (architect,
1599-1667). Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), Raphael (painter, 1483-1520), Bramante
(architect and painter, 1444-1514), Domenico Bigordi called"Ghirlandaio" (1449-1494),
Alessandro Filipepe called"il Botticelli" (1445-1510) thought not Romans, were at work in
Rome, leaving a deep artistic sign.
Rome has been one the most important set of the world for great Emperors, Popes,
poets, and artists. Among the greatest emperors: Julius Caesar (44 BC), Augustus (27 BC- AD
14), Caligula (37-41), Nero (54-68), Vespasian (69-79), Hadrian (117-138), Marcus Aurelius
(161-180), Constantine the Great (313-379).
Among the greatest ancientpopes: Peter Apostle (?-64 AD); Gregorius the Great (590604); Gregorius VII, Ildebrando della Toscia (1073-1085); Bonifacius VIII, Benedetto Caetani
(1295-1303); Sixtus IV, Francesco della Rovere (1471-1431); Julius II, Giuliano della Rovere

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