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 the urban 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 capital city 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 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. 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 the 11th-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 most visited 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 ofcentral Italy on the Tiber river The original settlement developed on hills that faced onto a ford beside the Tiber island, the only natural ford of the river. The Rome of the Kings was built on seven hills: the Aventine Hill, the Caelian Hill, the Capitoline Hill, the Esquiline Hill, the Palatine Hill, the Quirinal Hill, and the Viminal Hill. The city is also crossed by another river the Anienewhich joins the Tiber north of the historic centre.
Rome enjoys a Mediterranean climate 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 closingduring 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 December, January and February. Within thelast four decades they have been rare in Rome: the most recent snowfall with accumulation was in February 2010, the first since 1986 (in some peripheral areas since 1991); between 1986 and 2010 snow fell four times, without significant traces on the ground.
Generally - summer's season lasts about 6 months, from May to October. Two months (April and November) are transitional, sometimes thereare temperature above 20 °C (68 °F). December, January, February and March is the coldest months, with average temperatures (of these four months) over 13.1 °C (55.6 °F) near city centre (13.9 °C (57.0 °F) near sea) during the day and 3.7 °C (38.7 °F) near city centre (4.7 °C (40.5 °F) near sea) at night. Average relative humidity is 74.8%, from 72% in July to 77% in November and December....