Rome is the capital of Italy and also of the homonymous province and of the region of Lazio. With 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 (496.3 sq mi), it is also the country’s largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber within Lazio (Latium). Rome is the only city in the world to contain in its interior a whole state; the enclave of Vatican City.
Rome’s history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as „The Eternal City“, a notion expressed by ancient Roman poets and writers. In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870.
Rome has a status of the global city. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the world’s most visited tourist destinations with both locations receiving millions of tourists a year.