Europe / Italy

Rome

The "Eternal city", Rome is not only represented by its masterpieces of art, and breathtaking architecture, monuments and museums but by its typical streets and alleyways where one can discover traits of Italian lifestyle, tradition and culture.

Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 (496.3 sq mi). The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.

Rome's history spans two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was the dominant power in Western Europe and the lands bordering the Mediterranean for over seven hundred years from the 1st century BC until the 7th century AD and the city is regarded as one of the birthplaces of western civilization. Since the 1st century AD Rome has been the seat of the Papacy and, after the end of Byzantine domination, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

After the Middle Ages, Rome was ruled by popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence. The current version of St Peter's Basilica was built and the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo. Famous artists and architects, such as Bramante, Bernini and Raphael resided for some time in Rome, contributing to its Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

Rome has been ranked by GaWC in 2010 as a beta+ world city, as well as the 28th most important global city. In 2007, Rome was the 11th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. The city is one of Europe's and the world's most successful city "brands", both in terms of reputation and assets. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are amongst the world's 50 most visited tourist destinations (the Vatican Museums receiving 4.2 million tourists and the Colosseum receiving 4 million tourists every year). Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Rome enjoys a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa), typical of the Mediterranean coasts of Italy. Spring and autumn are mild to warm, and the Romans ottobrate ("beautiful October days") are known as being sunny and warm. By August, the maximum diurnal temperature often exceeds 30 °C (86 °F). Traditionally, many businesses were accustomed to closing during August, while Romans visited holiday resorts. In more recent years, however, in response to growing tourism and changing work habits, the city has been staying open for the whole summer. The average high temperature in January is about 12.9 °C (55.2 °F), but in hot periods it can be higher, while subzero lows are not uncommon. Snowfalls can occur in the winter months, but are rare. .

Generally – summer's season lasts about 6 months, from May to October. Two months (April and November) are transitional, sometimes there are temperature above 20 °C (68 °F). December, January, February and March are the coldest months, with average temperatures (of these four months) over 13.1 °C (55.6 °F) near the city centre (13.9 °C (57.0 °F) near sea) during the day and 3.7 °C (38.7 °F) near the city centre (4.7 °C (40.5 °F) near sea) at night. The average relative humidity is 74.8%, varying from 72% in July to 77% in November and December.

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