21 April 753 B.C. – legend holds that this is the date when Romulus traced a furrow in the ground with his plough from the Palatino hill, to mark the site for the town walls. In reality however, Rome developed more slowly, beginning from the Palatino hill and only at a later date extending to the other nearby hills, gradually becoming the “city of seven hills”. These villages were joined in a holy league and began the thousands of years’ history of the eternal city. From 753 to 509 B.C., Rome was governed by kings, to later become a Republic with a series of laws which governed State operations. In the centuries during which Christ was born, the city took on all the grandeur and splendour that made it famous becoming the capital of an Empire and reaching its apex in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. However, in 476 A.D., invasions by the Goths and Vandals brought the end to the Western Roman Empire. After the Saracens sacked the city, Pope Leone IV fortified a part of the city to the right of the Tiber, creating the so-called “Leonine town” and confirming himself the real Lord of Rome. In its thousands of years’ history, the city was also annexed to France, who saw Rome as the second great city of the Napoleonic Empire. In 1815, with Pope Pio VII the city began to lose importance and was closed in throughout the century until 1870, when it was annexed to Italy. Rome continued to grow despite the destruction and hardship of the two world wars. Some very important roads were built, and new important districts developed. During the second half of the last century, there were alternating phases of well-being, and the city expanded towards the suburbs and the hinterland. Rome is now capital of Italy and world centre for Christianity, thanks to the Papal State being situated here.
The city and its monuments
It is very difficult to describe the city and its monuments, there are so many works of art to testify the great past of Rome: the Flavio Amphitheatre, known as the Coliseum, arena of the battles between gladiators with seating for around 45,000 spectators, the Imperial Forum, the Circus Massimo, the Vatican City and Palazzos, the Altar to the Patria, Campidoglio, Pantheon, the numerous churches and roads, such as Via Condotti and Via del Corso, all the beautiful palazzos spread around the city like Palazzo Borghese, Palazzo Montecitorio, Palazzo della Borsa and, finally, the Trevi Fountain. Rome has to be seen and admired with your own eyes, walking along its streets you can relive the past and imagine just how majestic the city was, which, for centuries, was the centre of the ancient world “caput mundi”.
The geographical area
The province of Rome is a territory rich in history and towns that recall all the grandeur of the ancient world, but also infinite natural beautiful sights. Ostia, ancient Roman port during the time of the empire, Tivoli and Frascati, holiday resorts for the ancient Romans and rich with beautiful villas; Velletri and Castel Gandolfo, summer residence for the popes. However, the city has some very well known seaside resorts, like Fregene, the smartest beach in Rome, Anzio, Nettuno, Santa Severa and Fiumicino. To the north we find Lake Bracciano, with the classic circular shape of volcanic basins and other towns rich with history along its banks, like Bracciano, Cerveteri and Anguillara.