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Roma (in Italian: Roma [ˈroːma] ( listen (help · Archivo:It-Roma.ogg))) is a city and a special commune (called "Roma Capitale") in Italy. It is the capital of the country, of the homonymous province and also of the Lazio region. With 2.8 million inhabitants in 1285.3 km², it is also the largest Italian city and the fourth most populous city in the European Union. The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative limits of the city with a population of about 3.8 million. Between 3.2 and 4.2 million people live in the metropolitan area of the Italian capital. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian peninsula, cut by the Tiber River, inside Lazio. Rome is the only city in the world that has an entire country in its interior, the enclave of the Vatican.
Rome is one of the most important cities in the history of mankind, exercising an unparalleled influence on the development of European history and culture over millennia and in the construction of Western Civilization. Its history spans more than 2500 years, since its legendary foundation in 753 BC Rome is one of the oldest continually occupied cities in Europe and is known as "The Eternal City", an idea expressed by ancient Roman poet writers. In the ancient world, it was successively the capital of the Kingdom of Rome, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire and is considered one of the cradles of Western civilization. Since the 1st century, the city has been the seat of the papacy and in the 8th century the city became the capital of the Pontifical States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy and in 1946 of the Italian Republic.
After the Middle Ages, Rome was ruled by Popes Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the main centers of the Italian Renaissance, together with Florence. The current version of St. Peter 's Basilica was built and the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo. Famous artists and architects, such as Bramante, Bernini and Rafael, resided for some time in Rome, contributing to its Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Rome is considered a global city. In 2007, Rome was the 11th most visited city in the world, the third most visited in the European Union and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. The city it has one of the best "brands" in Europe, both in reputation and in heritage. Its historic center is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the destinations most visited tourist attractions in the world, both of which receive millions of tourists per year. Rome also hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics.
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