I found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble.
Sometimes known as the Eternal City, Rome is Italy's capital. Famous landmarks include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel San'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica (in the Vatican).
Common depictions of Rome in fiction mention its founding in 753 BC, the overthrow of Etruscan Kings to form a Republic, Rome's transformation from a Republic into an Empire under the Caesars, the decline and fall of Rome over the course of centuries, culminating in the end of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Rome as the seat of the Papacy for most of the Middle Ages (except for a brief period when the papacy was in Avignon, France), Rome as one of the major centers of the Renaissance in the 1400s and 1500s (until it was sacked by soldiers sent to defend it in 1527), and Rome as the capital of Italy, being the capital of the Papal States for centuries just before it fell to soldiers from the Kingdom of Italy.
As a modern city, Rome is the largest city and urban area in Italy, as well as the fourth-most populous city proper in the European Union
, and Madrid
, and just ahead of Paris
). As the capital, it is the center for the Italian government and much economic activity, although Italy's industrial, financial, and design capital is in the northern city of Milan
Modern Rome, being built on, well, Ancient Rome and Medieval Rome, can be extremely difficult city to get around, and traffic is always terrible
. It doesn't help that Roman drivers have a deserved reputation for insanity
. This is often the first thing modern Romans mention to visitors, or complain about to each other. And don't think you can avoid this by taking public transit; the bus drivers are just as insane as the other drivers, and while Rome does have a Metro, it's surprisingly lacking because (again) Modern Rome is built on Ancient Rome and Medieval Rome means that building it goes very slowly and expensively due to the tendency of serious digging in Rome to reveal some valuable artifact or other.
is technically a separate country within the city of Rome, as it is the last remnant of the Papal States.
Contrary to popular belief, it was not built in a day.
Rome in Fiction
- Any work of fiction set in Ancient Rome, natch.
- Most Hollywood blockbusters that feature a worldwide Monumental Damage Montage will show the Colosseum, despite it being half-ruined already.
- Much of The Borgias, what with the main characters being the Pope's family and all.