Rome (/ˈroʊm/ROHM; Italian: Roma[ˈroːma], Latin: Rōma) is the capital of Italy and a special comune (named Comune di Roma Capitale). Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazioregion. With 2,876,051 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country’s most populated comune. It is the fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4.3 million residents. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside 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.
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 (1447–1455) pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, 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, which in 1946 became the Italian Republic.
Rome has the status of a global city. Rome ranked in 2016 as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the world’s 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 (FAO). The city hosts the headquarters of many international business companies, such as Eni, Enel, TIM and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL. Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry and financial services. Rome is also an important fashion and design centre thanks to international brands such as Fendi, Bulgari, Renato Balestra, Valentino, Laura Biagiotti. Rome’s Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies.
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