is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated municipality (central area), with over 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 (496.3 sq mi). While the population of theurban area was estimated by Eurostat to have been 3.46 million in 2004, the metropolitan area of Rome was estimated by OECD to have had a population of 3.7 million no later than 2006.
The city ofRome 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 over two and a half thousand years. It was the capitalcity of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was a major political and cultural influence in the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea for over seven hundred years fromthe 1st Century BC until the 7th Century AD. Since the 2nd Century AD Rome has been the seat of the Papacy and, after the end of Byzantine domination, in the eighth century it became the capital of thePapal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic. Since 1929 it is also the site of the Vatican City, anindependent city-state presided over by the Pope.
The city hosted the 1960 Olympic Games, and is also an official candidate for the 2020 edition of this event.
In 2007 Rome was the11th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the EU, 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 ofreputation 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 mostvisited tourist destinations (the Vatican Museums receiving 4.2 million tourists and the Colosseum receiving 4 million tourists every year).
Rome is in the Lazio region of...