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Comune di Roma
Skyline of Comune di Roma
Official flag of Comune di Roma
Official seal of Comune di Roma
Flag Seal
Nickname: "The Eternal City"
Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus
Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey)
Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey)
Coordinates: 41°54′N 12°30′E
Region Lazio
Province Province of Rome
Founded 8th century BC
Mayor Walter Veltroni
 - City 1,285 km²  (496.1  sq mi)
 - Urban 5,352 km² (2,066 sq mi)
Elevation +20 m
 - City (2005) 2,553,873
 - Density 1,983/km² (5,135/sq mi)
 - Urban 3,831,959
 - Metro 5,304,778
Time zone CET ( UTC+1)
Postal codes 00121 to 00199
Area code(s) 06
Patron saints: Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Rome ( Italian and Latin: Roma) is the capital city of Italy and of the Lazio region, as well as the country's largest and most populous comune, with about 2.5 million residents (3.8 million considering the whole urbanised area, as represented by the Province of Rome). It is located in the central-western portion of the Italian peninsula, where the river Aniene joins the Tiber. As one of the largest cities in the European Union, the Comune di Roma has a gross domestic product of €97 billion in the year 2005, equal to 6.7% of Italy's GDP — the highest proportion of GDP produced by any single Italian comune. The current Mayor of Rome is Walter Veltroni.

According to legend, the city of Rome was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus on April 21, 753 BC. Archeological evidence supports claims that Rome was inhabited since the 8th century BC and earlier. The city was the cradle of Roman civilization that produced the largest and longest-lasting empire of classical antiquity that reached its greatest extent in 117. The city was pivotal and responsible for the spread of Greco-Roman culture that endures to this day. Rome is also identified with Christianity and the Catholic Church and has been the episcopal seat of the Popes since the 1st century. The State of the Vatican City, the sovereign territory of the Holy See and smallest nation in the world, is an enclave of Rome.

Rome, Caput mundi ("capital of the world"), Limen Apostolorum ("threshold of the Apostles"), la città dei sette colli ("the city of the seven hills") or simply, l'Urbe ("the City") to the Romans, is thoroughly modern and cosmopolitan. As one of the few major European cities that escaped World War II relatively unscathed, central Rome remains essentially Renaissance in character. This treasure of the world is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site by virtue of its three thousand years of accumulated history and art: a city of the divine and the sublime, of gods, kings, emperors and popes — Città Eterna — the "Eternal City".

History and demographics

From founding to Empire

The ancient Etruscan bronze Capitoline Wolf suckles the infant twins Romulus and Remus; the twins were added in the late 15th century, probably by Antonio Pollaiolo.
The ancient Etruscan bronze Capitoline Wolf suckles the infant twins Romulus and Remus; the twins were added in the late 15th century, probably by Antonio Pollaiolo.

The founding of Rome is shrouded in legend, but current archeological evidence support the theory that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill and in the area of the future Roman Forum, coalescing into a city in the 8th century BC. That city developed into the capital of the Roman Kingdom (ruled by a succession of seven kings, according to tradition), Roman Republic (from 510 BC, governed by the Senate), and finally the Roman Empire (from 31 BC, ruled by an Emperor); this success depended on military conquest, commercial predominance, as well as selective assimilation of neighbouring civilisations, most notably the Etruscans and Greeks. Roman dominance expanded over most of Europe and the shores of the Mediterranean sea, while its population surpassed one million inhabitants. For almost a thousand years, Rome was the most politically important, richest and largest city in the Western world, and remained so after the Empire started to decline and was split, even if it ultimately lost its capital status to Milan and then Ravenna, and was surpassed in prestige by the Eastern capital Constantinople.

Fall of the Empire and rise of the Papacy

After the Sack of Rome (410) by Alaric and the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, Rome alternated between Byzantine rule and plundering by Germanic barbarians. Its population declined to a mere 20,000 during the Early Middle Ages, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation. With the rise of early Christianity, the Bishop of Rome gained religious as well as political importance, eventually becoming known as the Pope and establishing Rome as the centre of the Catholic Church and capital of the Papal States; the city became a major pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages and the focus of struggles between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire started by Charlemagne, who was crowned in Rome itself on Christmas of 800 by Pope Leo III.

Apart from brief periods as an independent city during the Middle Ages, Rome kept its status of Papal capital and " holy city" for centuries, even when the Pope briefly relocated to Avignon ( 1309- 1337). While no longer politically powerful, as tragically shown by the brutal sack of 1527, the city flourished as a hub of cultural and artistic acitivity during the Renaissance, thanks to the maecenatism of the nepotist Papal court. Population rose again and reached 100,000 during the 17th century, but Rome ultimately lagged behind the rest of the European capitals over the subsequent centuries, being largely busy in the Counter-Reformation process.

From unification to Fascism

Caught up in the nationalistic turmoils of the 19th century and having twice gained and lost a short-lived independence, Rome became the focus of the hopes for Italian unification, as propelled by the Kingdom of Italy ruled by King Vittorio Emanuele II; after the French protection was lifted in 1870, royal troops stormed the city, and Rome was declared capital of the newly unified Italy in 1871. After a victorious World War I, Rome witnessed the rise to power of Italian fascism guided by Benito Mussolini, who marched on the city in 1922, eventually declared a new Empire and allied Italy with Nazi Germany. This was a period of rapid growth in population, from the 212,000 people at the time of unification to more than 1,000,000, but this trend was halted by World War II, during which Rome was damaged by both Allied forces bombing and Nazi occupation; after the execution of Mussolini and the end of the war, a 1946 referendum abolished the monarchy in favour of the Italian Republic.

Republican times

Rome grew momentously after the war, as one of the driving forces behind the " Italian economic miracle" of post-war reconstruction and modernisation. It became a fashionable city in the 1950s and early 1960s, the years of "la Dolce Vita" ("the sweet life"), and a new rising trend in population continued till the mid- 1980s, when the comune had more than 2,800,000 residents; after that, population started to slowly decline as more residents moved to nearby comuni; this has been attributed to their perceiving a decrease in the quality of life, especially because of the continuously jammed traffic and the worsening pollution it brings about.

Geography and climate


Rome is in the Lazio region of central Italy, at the confluence of the Aniene and Tiber (Italian: Tevere) rivers. Although the city centre is about 24 kilometres inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the city territory currently extends to the very shore, where the south-western Ostia district is located. The altitude of Rome ranges from 13 metres above sea level (in Piazza del Popolo) to 120 metres above sea level (the peak of Monte Mario). The comune of Rome is one of the largest European capital cities, covering an overall area of about 1,285 square kilometers.


Rome enjoys the temperate climate which characterises the Mediterranean coasts of Italy, although the weather has been getting warmer in recent decades. It is at its most comfortable from April through June, and from mid-September to October; in particular, the Roman "ottobrata" (roughly translated as "October period") is famously known for its sunny days and pleasant temperatures. By August, the temperature during the heat of the day often exceeds 35° C (95° F); traditionally, many businesses would close during August, and Romans would abandon the city for holiday resorts, but this trend is weakening, and the city is increasingly remaining fully functional during the whole summer, in response to growing tourism as well as change in the population's work habits. The average high temperature in December is about 13° C (55° F).

Government and politics

Capital status

Rome is currently a comune, as well as the seat of the Regione Lazio (one of the twenty regions of Italy) and of the Province of Rome (one of the five provinces of the Lazio region). The current Mayor of Rome is Walter Veltroni, elected in 2001 and again for a second term in 2006. A current political debate in Italy focuses on the opportunity of providing the city with "special powers" of local jurisdiction (the "Roma Capitale" directives), and possibly of turning either the comune or the Province of Rome into a "capital district" separate from the Lazio region, modelled after Washington, D.C..

Other sovereign states

Rome is unique in its containing two other sovereign states. One is the Holy See, the political and religious entity that governs the territory of the Vatican City (a de facto enclave since 1870, officially recognised as such in 1929), as well as claiming extraterritorial rights over a few other palaces and churches, mostly in the city centre; indeed, Rome hosts foreign embassies to both Italy and the Holy See. The other state is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), which took refuge in Rome in 1834 after having lost Malta to Napoleon in 1798, and thus currently claims no territory (leading to disputes over its actual sovereign status); SMOM too owns extraterritorial palaces in central Rome.

International involvement

Rome has traditionally been heavily involved in the process of European political integration. In 1957, the city hosted the signing of the treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community (predecessor to the current European Union), and also played host to the official signing of the proposed European constitution in July 2004. Rome is also the seat of significant international organisations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and is the place where the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was formulated.

Culture and society


The Religio Romana constituted the major religion of the city in antiquity. However, several other religions and imported mystery cults remained represented within its ever-expanding boundaries, including Judaism, whose presence in the city dates back from the Roman Republic and was sometimes forcibly confined to the Roman Ghetto, as well as Christianity. Despite initial persecutions, by the early 4th century, Christianity had become so widespread that it was legalised in 313 by Emperor Constantine I, and later made official religion of the Roman Empire in 380 by Emperor Theodosius I, allowing it to spread further and eventually wholly replace the declining Religio Romana.

Rome became the pre-eminent Christian city (vis-a-vis Antioch and Alexandria, and later Constantinople and Jerusalem) based on the tradition that Saint Peter and Saint Paul were martyred in the city during the 1st century, coupled with the city's political importance. The Bishop of Rome, later known as the Pope, claimed primacy over all Bishops and therefore all Christians on the basis that he is the successor of Saint Peter, upon whom Jesus built his Church; his prestige has been enhanced since 313 through donations by Roman emperors and patricians, including the Lateran Palace and patriarchal basilicas, as well as the obviously growing influence of the Church over the failing civil imperial authority. Papal authority has been exercised over the centuries with varying degrees of success, at times triggering divisions among Christians, until the present.

With the increasing chaos and disorder leading to the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476, the popes assumed more and more civil authority first in Rome and in the surrounding territories. Rome became the centre of the Catholic Church and the capital city of the Papal States; consequently, a great number of churches, convents and other religious buildings were erected in the city, sometimes above the ruins of older pre-Christian sites of worship. Churches proliferated during the Renaissance, when the most notable churches currently in Rome were built (this includes St. Peter's basilica on the Vatican Hill (the largest church in the world) and the city cathedral of St. John at the Lateran. The Papacy established its residence first in the Lateran Palace, then in the Quirinal Palace. When Rome was annexed by force to the newly unified Kingdom of Italy In 1870, Pope Pius IX retired to the Vatican, proclaiming himself a prisoner of the Savoy monarchy and leading to decades of conflict between the neonate state and the Catholic Church. This was resolved in 1929, when the Lateran Treaties were signed in Rome, establishing the right for the Holy See to govern the Vatican City as an independent, sovereign state. The patron saints of Rome remain Saint Peter and Saint Paul (or, as they are collectively referred to in this context, "the most holy Saints Peter and Paul"), both celebrated on June 29.

In recent years, the Islamic community has grown significantly, in great part due to immigration from North African and Middle Eastern countries into the city. As a consequence of this trend, the comune promoted the building of the largest mosque in Europe, which was designed by architect Paolo Portoghesi and inaugurated on June 21, 1995.


The original language of Rome was Latin, which evolved during the Middle Ages into Italian. The latter emerged as the confluence of various regional dialects, among which the Tuscan dialect predominated, but the population Rome also developed its own dialect, the Romanesco. This remained largely confined to Rome until the 19th century, but then expanded into the rest of Lazio from the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the rising population of Rome and to better transportations systems; as a consequence, Romanesco abandoned its traditional forms to mutate into the dialect currently spoken within the city, which is more similar to standard Italian, although remaining distinct from other Romanesco-influenced local dialects of Lazio. Dialectal literature in the traditional form Romanesco includes the works of such authors as Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli, Trilussa, and Cesare Pascarella. Contemporary Romanesco is mainly represented by popular actors such as Aldo Fabrizi, Alberto Sordi, Nino Manfredi, Gigi Proietti, Enrico Montesano, and Carlo Verdone.

Immigration and multiculturalism

Since the time of ancient Rome, the city has always been a site for immigration. This once extended to all reaches of the Roman Empire, but was more confined to the rest of Italy in later centuries, as Rome's political power waned. Still, many of its citizens' families originate from outside the city, and the Romanesco phrase Romano de Roma ("Roman from Rome") has been coined to indicate someone who descends from a family that has lived in Rome for at least seven generations, the mark of a "true" Roman.

Over the second half of 20th century, Rome has seen increasing immigration from other countries. There currently is a substantial immigrant population, including a large number of clandestines. The 2005 ISTAT estimations state that 145,000 immigrants live in the comune, or 5.69% of the total comune population. The foreign population in the urban area of Rome consists in 206,000 persons, or 5.37% of the total urban area population. The foreign population in the metropolitan area of Rome is about 248,000 persons or 4.67% of the total metropolitan area population. By far the largest number of immigrants are Eastern European, with the largest numbers of foreigners coming from Romania, The Philippines, Poland, Albania, Peru, Bangladesh, and Ukraine.

Possibly as a consequence of its multiethnic past, the city has reacted with less difficulty to the current waves of immigration into Italy. In particular, Mayor Walter Veltroni has made multiculturalism one of the key points of political program; inhabitants of Rome who are not citizens of a EU country are now entitled to elect their own representatives in the city council, even if they do not hold formal legal residence in Rome.


Rome is a nation-wide centre for higher education. Its first university, La Sapienza (founded in 1303), currently is the largest in Europe, with more than 150,000 students attending. Two new public universities were founded: Tor Vergata in 1982, and Roma Tre in 1992, although the latter has now become larger than the former. The city also hosts various private universities, such as the LUMSA, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Roman centre), the LUISS, the John Cabot University, the IUSM, the American University of Rome, the S. Pio V University of Rome, and the Università Campus Bio-Medico.


The main auditorium in the Parco della Musica, designed by Renzo Piano.
The main auditorium in the Parco della Musica, designed by Renzo Piano.

Rome is an important centre for music. It hosts the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (founded in 1585), for which new concert halls were recently built in the new Parco della Musica, one of the largest musical venues in the world. Rome also has an opera house, the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, as well as several minor musical institutions. The city also played host to the Eurovision Song Contest 1991 and the MTV Europe Music Awards 2004.



Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics and is an official candidate to hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics (the latter candidacy was withdrawn in July 2006 due to political difficulties, but was later reinstated).


Football is the most popular sport in Rome, as in the rest of the country. The Stadio Olimpico is the home stadium for the Italy national football team, and hosted the final game of the 1990 FIFA World Cup; it is also the home stadium for local serie A clubs A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio, whose rivalry has become a staple of Roman sports culture. Indeed, famous footballers who play for these teams and are also born in the city tend to become especially popular in the city, as has been the case with players such as Bruno Conti and Giuseppe Giannini (both for Rome), Paolo Di Canio and Alessandro Nesta (both for Lazio), and the current Rome captain Francesco Totti. Other notable football teams in the city include serie C2 team Cisco Calcio Roma.


While far from being as popular as football, rugby is gaining wider acceptance. The Stadio Flaminio is the home stadium for the Italy national rugby union team, which has been playing in the Six Nations Championship since 2000, albeit with less than satisfactory performances, as they have never won the championship so far. Rome is home to local rugby teams, such as Rugby Roma, S.S. Lazio, and Unione Rugby Capitolina.

Other sports

Cycling was immensely popular in the post-WWII period, although its popularity has faded in the last decades; Rome has hosted the final portion of the Giro d'Italia twice, in 1989 and 2000. Every spring, the annual Rome marathon is considered to be the most widely attended sports even in Italy. Rome is also home to many other sport teams, including basketball ( Virtus Pallacanestro Roma), handball ( S.S. Lazio), volley (male: M. Roma Volley, female: Virtus Roma and Linea Medica Siram Roma), waterpolo ( A.S. Roma, S.S. Lazio).


Today Rome sports a dynamic and diverse economy with thriving innovation, technologies, communications and service sectors. It produces 6.7% of the national GDP (more than any other city in Italy). Rome grows +4,4% annually and continues to grow at a higher rate than any other city in the rest of the country. Rome's economic growth began to surpass that of its rivals, Naples and Milan, after World War II, although a traditional rivalry persists with Milan. Tourism is inevitably one of Rome's chief industries, with many notable museums including the Vatican Museum, the Borghese Gallery, and the Musei Capitolini. Rome is also the hub of the Italian film industry, thanks to the Cinecittà studios. The city is also a centre for banking as well as electronics and aerospace industries. Many international headquarters, government ministries, conference centres, sports venues and museums are located in Rome's principal business districts: the Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR); the Torrino (further south from the EUR); the Magliana; the Parco de' Medici-Laurentina and the so-called Tiburtina-valley along the ancient Via Tiburtina.

Panorama over Rome.
Panorama over Rome.

City layout and sites of interest

City centre

The historical city centre is dominated by the traditional " Seven hills of Rome": the Capitoline, Palatine, Viminal, Quirinal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine hills. The Tiber flows south through Rome, with the city centre located where the midstream Tiber Island facilitated crossing. Large parts of the ancient city walls remain. The Servian Wall was built twelve years after Gauls' sack of the city in 390 BC; it contained most of the Esquiline and Caelian hills, as well as the whole of the other five. Rome grew out of the Servian Wall, but no more walls were constructed until 270, when Aurelian began building the Aurelian Walls. These were almost twelve miles long, and was still the wall the troops of the Kingdom of Italy had to breach to enter the city in 1870.

Peripheral layout

The ancient city within the walls covers about four percent of the modern municipality's 582 square miles. The old city is the smallest of Rome's twelve administrative zones. The walled city centre is made up of 22 rioni (districts), surrounding it are 35 quartieri urbani (urban sectors), and within the city limits are six large suburbi ( suburbs). The comune of Rome located outside the municipal boundaries about doubles the area of the actual city.

The belt highway known as Grande Raccordo Anulare (G.R.A.) describes a huge circle around the capital, about six miles out from the city centre; unlike most Italian highways, the G.R.A. is toll-free. The circle ties together the antique roads that led to Rome: the Via Flaminia, the Via Aurelia and Via Appia. Large amounts of modern apartment buildings are located in the districts outside the centre, where contemporary architecture has not gone unnoticed. Many street frontages and show windows often change to keep up with the times and the Romans have succeeded in harmonising the old and the new.

Though relatively small, the old city centre contains about 300 hotels and 300 pensioni, over 200 palaces, 900 churches, eight of Rome's major parks, the residence of the President of the Italian Republic, the houses of the Parliament, offices of the city and city government, and many great and well-known monuments. The old city also contains thousands of workshops, offices, bars, and restaurants. Millions of tourists visit Rome annually, making it one of the most touristic cities in the world.

Vatican City

Saint Peter's Square.
Saint Peter's Square.

The city of Rome surrounds the Vatican City, the enclave of the Holy See, which is a separate sovereign state. It hosts Saint Peter's Square with the Saint Peter's Basilica. The open space before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII, as an appropriate forecourt, designed "so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the façade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace" (Norwich 1975 p 175). In Vatican City there are also the prestigious Vatican Library, Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms and other important works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Giotto, Botticelli.

Architecture and arts

Ancient Rome

The Colosseum in Rome
The Colosseum in Rome

One of the symbols of Rome is the Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Roman Empire. Originally capable of seating 50,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial combat. It was built in the 70s and completed in 80. The great complex of the Imperial Forums consist of a series of monumental fora (public squares), constructed in Rome over a period of one and half centuries, between 46 BC and 113. The forums were the heart of the late Roman Republic and of the Roman Empire. The list of the very important monuments of ancient Rome includes the Roman Forum, the Domus Aurea, the Pantheon, the Trajan's Column, the Trajan's Market, the Catacombs of Rome, the Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla, the Arch of Constantine, the Pyramid of Cestius, the Bocca della Verità. Moreover, the archeological site of Ostia preserves intact a whole ancient Roman town.

Renaissance and Baroque

Piazza del Campidoglio
Piazza del Campidoglio
Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo

Rome was a major world centre of the Renaissance, and that left a profound mark on the city. The most impressive masterpiece of Renaissance architecture in Rome is the Piazza del Campidoglio by Michelangelo, with the Palazzo Senatorio, seat of the city government. During this period the great aristocratic families of Rome used to build opulent dwellings as the Palazzo del Quirinale, now seat of the President of the Republic, the Palazzo Venezia, the Palazzo Farnese, the Palazzo Barberini, the Palazzo Chigi, now seat of the Prime Minister of Italy, the Palazzo Spada, the Palazzo della Cancelleria, the Villa Farnesina. Rome is also famous for her huge and majestic squares, often adorned with obelisks, many of those built in the XVII century. The principal squares are Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Esedra, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Farnese, Piazza Minerva. One of the most emblematic examples of the baroque art is the Fontana di Trevi by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Other notable baroque palaces of XVII century are the Palazzo Madama, now seat of the Italian Senate and the Palazzo Montecitorio, now seat of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy.


Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II
Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II

In 1870, Rome became capital city of the new Kingdom of Italy. And neoclassicism, a building style influenced by architecture during Antiquity, became a predominant style in Roman buildings. In this period many great palaces in neoclassical styles were built to host ministries, embassies and other governing agencies. One of the best-known symbol of Roman neoclassicism is the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II or "Altar of Fatherland", where the grave of the Unknown Soldier, that represents the 650,000 Italians that fell in World War I, is located.

Fascist architecture

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana
Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

The Fascist regime that ruled in Italy between 1922 and 1943 developed an original architectural style, characterized by feast and the research of a link with ancient Rome architecture. The most important fascist style site in Rome is the E.U.R. district, built in 1935. It was originally conceived for the 1942 world exhibition, and was called "E.42" ("Esposizione 42"). However, the world exhibition never took place due to Italy entering the Second World War in 1940. The most representative building of the Fascist style at E.U.R. is the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (1938-1943), the iconic design of which has been labeled the cubic or Square Colosseum. After World War II, the Roman authorities found that they already had a germ of an off-centre business district that other capitals were still planning ( London Docklands and La Defense in Paris). Also the Palazzo della Farnesina, the actual seat of Italian Foreign Ministry, was designed in 1935 in fascist style.

Villas and gardens

 Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese

The surroundings of Rome are characterized by numerous and large green areas and opulent ancient villas. The most important are: Villa Borghese, with a large landscape garden in the naturalistic English manner, containing a number of buildings, museums (see Galleria Borghese) and attractions; Villa Doria Pamphili, the largest public landscaped park of Rome with an area of 1.8 km²; Villa Torlonia, a splendid example of Art Nouveau mansion that was the Roman residence of Benito Mussolini; Villa Albani, commissioned by Alessandro Cardinal Albani to house his collection of antiquities and Roman sculpture, which soon filled the casino that faced the Villa down a series of formal parterres.

Museums and galleries

The list of most important museums and galleries of Rome includes: the National Museum of Rome, the Museum of Roman Civilization, the Villa Giulia National Etruscan Museum, the Capitoline Museums, the Borghese Gallery, the Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo, the National Gallery of Modern Art.

Administrative subdivision of Rome

Map showing the 19 Municipi of Rome.
Map showing the 19 Municipi of Rome.

The administrative subdivision of Rome consists of the 19 sub-municipalities ( Municipi) of Rome's municipality. Originally, the city was divided into 20 sub-municipalities, but the XIV, what is now the Comune di Fiumicino, voted some years ago to become a full municipality itself and eventually detached from Rome.

List of Municipi

The territory of the commune of Rome is divided into 19 Municipi (area subdivisions):

  • Municipio I – Includes the traditional Rioni: Monti, Trevi, Colonna, Campo Marzio, Ponte, Parione, Regola, Sant'Eustachio, Pigna, Campitelli, Sant'Angelo, Trastevere, Esquilino, Ludovisi, Sallustiano, part of Castro Pretorio, Celio.
  • Municipio II – Includes the districts: Flaminio, Parioli, Pinciano, Salario and a part of the Trieste.
  • Municipio III – Includes: San Lorenzo, Stazione Tiburtina; Nomentano (part of), Università La Sapienza, Verano, Bologna, and Policinico.
  • Municipio IV – Includes the districts: Monte Sacro, Monte Sacro Alto, Val Melaina, Castel Giubileo, Marcigliana, Casal Boccone, Tor S. Giovanni and a part of the Trieste.
  • Municipio V – Includes the districts: Pietralata, Ponte Mammolo, S. Basilio, Settecamini, Tor Cervara, Tor Sapienza, Acqua Vergine and parts of the Tiburtino and of the Collatino.
  • Municipio VI – Includes parts of the districts: Tiburtino, Prenestino-Labicano, Tuscolano and Collatino.
  • Municipio VII – Includes the districts: Prenestino, Centocelle, Alessandrino, La Rustica and parts of the Tuscolano, Collatino, Don Bosco, Tor Cervara, Tor Sapienza and Torre Spaccata.
  • Municipio VIII – Includes the districts: Lunghezza, S. Vittorino, Torre Angela, Borghesiana and parts of the Don Bosco, Acqua Vergine, Torre Spaccata, Torre Maura, Torrenova and Torre Gaia.
  • Municipio IX – Includes parts of the districts: Prenestino-Labicano, Tuscolano and Appio Latino.
  • Municipio X – Includes: Appio Claudio, Capannelle, Casal Morena, Cinecittà and parts of Tuscolano, Don Bosco, Appio Pignatelli, Torre Maura, Torrenova, Torre Gaia.
  • Municipio XI – Includes parts of: Appio Latino, Ostiense, Ardeatino, Appio Pignatelli, Torricola and Cecchignola.
  • Municipio XII – Includes: Giuliano-Dalmata, EUR, Fonte Ostiense, Vallerano, Castel di Decima, Torrino and parts of Ostiense, Castel di Leva and Cecchignola.
  • Municipio XIII – Includes: Ostia Ponente, Ostia Levante, Castel Fusano, and parts of Tor de' Cenci, Mezzocamino.
  • Muncipio XV – Includes parts of: Portuense, Gianicolense, Magliana Vecchia, Ponte Galeria, Pisana.
  • Municipio XVI – Includes parts of: Portuense, Gianicolense, Maccarese, Pisana, Castel di Guido.
  • Municipio XVII – Includes the Rioni Prati and Borgo and parts of the districts Trionfale, Della Vittoria.
  • Municipio XVIII – Includes parts of: Aurelio, Trionfale, Primavalle, Castel di Guido, Casalotti.
  • Municipio XIX – Includes parts of: Aurelio, Trionfale, Primavalle, Della Vittoria.
  • Municipio XX – Includes: Tor di Quinto, La Giustiniana, La Storta, Cesano and parts of Della Vittoria, Tomba di Nerone.



Rome is currently served by three airports, of which the main two are owned by Aeroporti di Roma. The intercontinental Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport is Italy's chief airport; it is more commonly known as "Fiumicino airport", as it is located within the territory of the nearby comune of Fiumicino, south-west of Rome. The older Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport is a joint civilian and military airport; it is more commonly referred to as "Ciampino Airport", as it is located within Roman territory near the border with the comune of Ciampino, south-east of Rome.

A third airport, the Aeroporto dell'Urbe, is a small, low-traffic airport located about 6 km north of the city centre, which handles most helicopter and private flights. A fourth airport in the eastern part of the city, the Aeroporto di Centocelle (dedicated to Francesco Baracca), is no longer open to flights; it currently hosts the Comando di Squadra Aerea (which coordinates the activities of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana) and the Comando Operative di Vertice Interforze (which coordinates all Italian military activities), although large parts of the airport are currently being redeveloped as a public park.


 Roma Termini, the largest railway station in Europe.
Roma Termini, the largest railway station in Europe.

Rome is the hub of the Italian railways. Located on the Esquiline Hill, Rome's central station, called Roma Termini, was opened in 1867, then demolished and completely rebuilt between 1939 and 1951; it is currently operated by Grandi Stazioni and mainly served by Trenitalia. In its current form, it is the single largest station in Europe and is visited by 600,000 passengers daily; it has twenty-four railway platforms, and also serves as a shopping centre and art gallery. The second largest station in the city is Roma Tiburtina, which is currently being redeveloped for high-speed rail service. Other notable stations include Roma Ostiense, Roma Trastevere, Roma Tuscolana, Roma San Pietro, and Roma Casilina.

Urban transportation


Map of Rome Metro.
Map of Rome Metro.

A 2-line subway system operates in Rome called the "Metropolitana" or Rome Metro. Construction works for the first branch started in the 1930s. The line had been planned to quickly connect the main train station (Termini) with the newly planned E42 area in the southern suburbs, where the 1942 World Fair was supposed to be held. The event never took place because of war. The area was later partly redesigned and renamed EUR (Esposizione Universale di Roma: Rome Universal Exhibition) in the 1950s to serve as a modern business district. The line was finally opened in 1955 and it is now part of the B Line. The A line opened in 1980 from Ottaviano to Anagnina stations, later extended in stages (1999 - 2000) to Battistini. In the 1990s an extension of the B line was opened from Termini to Rebibbia. A new branch of the B line (B1) is under construction, as is a third line, called C. A fourth line, line D, is under development. The frequent archaeological findings delay underground work. This underground network is generally reliable (although it may become very congested at peak times and during events, especially the A line) as it is relatively short. As of 2005, total length is 38 km. The two existing lines, A & B, only intersect at Roma Termini station.


Roman tram in Via Torre Argentina
Roman tram in Via Torre Argentina

The Rome Metro is part of an extensive transport network made of a tramway network, several suburban and urban lines in and around the city of Rome, plus an "express line" to Fiumicino Airport. Whereas most FS-Regionale lines (Regional State Railways) do provide mostly a suburban service with more than 20 stations scattered throughout the city, the Roma-Lido (starting at Ostiense station), the Roma-Pantano (starting nearby Termini) and the Roma-Nord (starting at Flaminio station) lines offer a metro-like service. Rome also has a comprehensive bus and light rail system. The English web site of the ATAC public transportation company allows a route to be calculated using the buses, light rail and subways. The Metrebus integrated fare system allows holders of tickets and integrated passes to travel on all companies vehicles, within the validity time of the ticket purchased.

Chronic congestion caused by cars during the 1970s and 1980s led to the banning of unauthorized traffic from the central part of city during workdays from 6 am to 6 pm. This area is officially called Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL). Heavy traffic due to night-life crowds during weekends led in recent years to the creation of other ZTLs in the Trastevere and S. Lorenzo districts during the night, and to experimentation with a new night ZTL also in the city centre (plans to create a night ZTL in the Testaccio district as well are underway). In recent years, parking spaces along the streets in wide areas of the city have been converted to pay parking, as new underground parking spread throughout the city. In spite of all these measures, traffic remains an unsolved problem, as in many of the world's cities.

Major sports venues

  • Stadio Olimpico;
  • Stadio Flaminio;
  • Stadio dei Marmi;
  • Stadio della Stella Polare;
  • Palalottomatica (previouosly known as "PalaEUR";
  • Palazzetto dello Sport (one in Viale Tiziano, one in Ostia);
  • Palazzetto dell'Assobalneari;
  • Foro Italico: tennis stadium, Olympic swimming pools
  • Acqua Acetosa (sports area) sports area;
  • Tre Fontane (sports area) sports area;
  • Ippodromo Capannelle and Ippodromo Tor di Valle.

Sister cities

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