Coat of arms of Rome

Coat of arms of Rome

One life is not enough to get to know Rome in all its details and facets. That's the reason why many inhabitants, despite how rooted in the city's history their origins are, don't know their own city really well.

Even those who have studied for decades the city for professional reasons (architects, historians, artists) sometimes get to know part of the city's history directly from their grandparents who, being born at the end of the XIX century, experienced the transition from the city-state of the pre-union era to the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and those grandparents probably heard stories which dated as back as the late XVIII century from their own grandparents, who moved in the city with their families from one of the many small towns in the provinces part of the Papal State ruled by the Pope-King.

A gentle introductionEdit

At the very beginning of a visit to the city, either a short or a long one (except for those organized by Japanese turists, who in 24/48 hours have to run through all the monuments and attractions which they've already observed and studied in detail on the internet), preliminary planning is, at a minimum, not only a good idea, but a requirement. With its 34 [[Category:Centuries|centuries] of uninterrupted urban activity, Rome represents an unicum (i.e. an unique example) in the landscape of urbanistic and history.

During this lapse of time not one but three different cities have existed: the ancient urbe, the Papal state capital and the Capital of the Kindom of Italy (which was eventually turned into a democratic republic by people's vote in 1946). Those three cities had little in common even though the ancient influenced the modern as the remains of the previous city have always been absorbed organically in the next one (and sometimes even reused as materials for constructions and renovation).

From this perspective turists and art/history lovers from all over the world can plan more than one visit with totally different focuses to be able to experience each single piece of art and monuments in the peculiar spacial-temporal context of the three different Romes.

In his 1786 visit Wolfgang Goethe, whose remains rest in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, noted how important it is to:

discern how Rome succeeded to Rome, not only one has being built over the other, but each single era of both the new one and the ancient one are layered one over the other
(quote from Goethe's Travel through Italy). He also remarked that since the times of Constantine till the early XX century, Rome has been a city characterized by conitnous recycling, restoration and reconstruction.

A living city, indeed, that dates back to the origin of our civilization.

Welcome to Rome.


41° 53.431' N 12° 29.655' E

Rome lays on the banks of the Tiber river and, as the biggest and most important city in the region, is the chief town of Lazio, in central Italy. The compact settlement that existed at the times of the Kings of Rome and which was originally built on the hills surrounding the only ford of the river in the region, has consistently and constantly grown till our days reaching a total area of 1,285 square kilometers and including the city of Ostia (once a separate city and the official commercial arbour of the ancient city) in the municipality's perimeter, i.e. today's Rome city center lays 24 kilometers inland and the city's westernmost border is touched by the Thyrrenian sea.

The terrain altitude varies (as said, the city was founded originally on the top of 7 hills) from 13 meters to 139 meters above the sea level.

The city is close to an active earthquake area (there's a tectonic fault that crosses Molise, Abruzzo and Lazio and which generated the Apennines) also,in the southern part of the Province, lays the biggest inactive vulcano in southern Europe (there are 3 interconnected craters, two of which host millennial lakes : Albano/Castel Gandolfo and Nemi), although not even the recent earthquake that devastated the city of L'Aquila in Abruzzo was able to damage anything else but the peaceful rest of some inhabitants.

Being the chief town of its region, Rome is also the ruling center of the homonymous province (Province of Rome) which in turn is the largest by area in Italy covering a total of 5,352 square kilometers.

In the city the climate is typical Mediterranean, with mild springs and falls (Roman ottobrate is a common term used to describe sunny and warm days in October) and, of course, torrid summers: in August the temperature can reach peaks above 30° C. Snowfalls can occur but so far they've been rare and rarely they leave traces on the ground, the only ones that have left at least a trace in the minds of the inhabitants (mainly in the form of funny anecdotes) took place in 1956, 1986 and 2010.

There's no doubt Rome is quite more known for its 6-months-long summer (from May to October).