Rome is the capital of the Italian Republic.
It is the most populous and largest municipality in Italy and is among Europe’s major capitals in terms of the amount of terrain it covers.
Historical and Architectural Riches
It is the city with the highest concentration of historical and architectural riches in the world. Its historical centre, outlined by the enclosing Aurelian Walls, layering nearly three thousand years of antiquity, is an invaluable testimony to the European western world’s cultural, artistic and historical legacy and in 1980 it was, together with the Holy See’s property beyond the confines of the Vatican State as well as the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls, were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List .
Rome, the heart of Catholic Christianity, is the only city in the world to host an entire foreign state within its confines, the enclave of the Vatican City, and it is for this very reason that it is often referred to as the capital of two States.
Over 16% of the world’s cultural treasures are located in Rome (70% in all of Italy).
The Green Areas
With around 52 thousand hectares of agricultural land, Rome is Europe’s greenest city. As well as its public parks, Rome boasts a great deal more greenery, as well as agriculture on its outskirts. The protected zones cover 40 thousand hectares. Rome is Europe’s largest agricultural municipality with 517 square metres of agriculture accounting for 40% of its total surface.
In addition to the municipal emblem, there is the Capitoline wolf, the bronze statue depicting the legendary she-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus; the Colosseum, ancient Rome’s largest amphitheatre, which was also listed in 2007 as one of the seven wonders of the modern world (the only one in Europe); the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, dominating the entire city and symbolizing Christianity. The symbol of the city in antiquity was the military effigy of an imperial eagle, while in the Middle Ages it was a lion, denoting supremacy.
▪ URBE : in ancient times the word Urbs was automatically used to mean Rome itself.
▪ CAPUT MUNDI : capital of the world
▪ URBE AETERNA : The Eternal City
The “Seven Hills”
Traditionally, Rome was built on seven hills, the names of which were lost over the passing of time, leaving historians slightly in doubt. However the city’s ancient heart is comprised of the historical seven hills: Palatine, Aventine, Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline and Caelian.
The “Blond Tiber”
The Blond Tiber is the river god once referred to in the elegies of ancient Rome, a god demanding respect and love which is indeed how, in a certain sense, it has remained in the minds of Romans. Over time however, they have lost contact with the river flowing through the city between the left bank, the historic centre, and the right, which was one time called the suburbs.
There are variety of proverbs and sayings concerning or naming Rome:
▪ Three things are needed in Rome: bread, clothing and patience (A Roma ci vogliono tre cose: pane, panni e pazienza)
▪ He, who Rome does not see, believes in nothing (Chi Roma non vede, nulla crede)
▪ It matters not to go to Rome for penitence (Non importa andare a Roma per la penitenza)
▪ When in Rome, do as the Romans do (Quando a Roma vai, fai come vedrai)
▪ In Rome, there are those who have had nothing in a hundred years, those who had much in three days (Roma, a chi nulla in cent’anni, a chi molto in tre dì).
▪ Rome was not built in one day (Roma non è stata costruita in un giorno).
▪ All roads lead to Rome (Tutte le strade portano a Roma)
▪ To know Rome, a life does not suffice (Per conoscere Roma non basta una vita).
Rome hosted the 1960 Olympic Games and is an official candidate to host them again in 2020. The Italian capital has also been the venue for the finals of two footballs World Cups (1934 and 1990). Between 18th July and 2nd August 2009 the city was host to the XIII World Swimming Championships and has on three occasions been the final stage of the Giro d’Italia (1950, 1989 and 2009, as well one of the sites of the games of the NBA Europe Live Tour (2006 and 2007).
Every year in spring the Rome Marathon is run here, which is rated by a number of running magazines to be the top city marathon in the world.
▪ 21st April, Rome’s Christmas, celebrating, in costume, with cultural events and festivities, the date traditionally believed to be when Romulus founded the city (753 A.D.).
▪ 1st May, Labour Day. The three main unions together organize a free concert in Piazza Porta San Giovanni which annually attracts an audience of hundreds of thousands (1,000,000 in 2008).
▪ 2nd June, Republic Day. A military parade traditionally marches down Via dei Fori Imperiali to Piazza Venezia.
▪ Festa de Noantri. One of the city’s oldest festivals is held in Trastevere on the first Saturday after 16th July on the Feast of the “Madonna del Carmelo”.
Embassies and Consulates
Rome hosts 138 foreign embassies to the Italian Republic and to the Holy See as well as the Italian embassy to the Holy See (the only case of a country having its own embassy within its own borders. Located in the capital are furthermore U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization FAO member states’ permanent diplomatic missions.
Nella capitale, infine, si trovano le missioni diplomatiche permanenti presso la FAO degli stati membri dell’agenzia delle Nazioni Unite.