Rome
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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
The tourists throng to the Trevi fountain to cool themselves off and with a dreamy glance throws a few coins into this magnificent blend of water and sculpture - because those who do are guaranteed that destiny will bring them back to Rome.
Return to a city that is the metropolis of chaos? Where motorists make such great demands of the pedestrians? Which is brash and noisy, hectic, and full of stray cats? That's as maybe but with a shrug of the shoulders the countless fans ask where else can one find so much magnificence and elegance? Where else can one playfully wander through almost three thousand years of history and also receive a blessing from the Pope? What's more, where else is life so good as in a Roman trattoria? During his Italian travels, Goethe laconically suggested that Rome was beyond our comprehension.
According to legend the sons of the god Mars, Romulus and Ramous founded what was to become the great city of Rome in 753 BC. In reality it was farmers who settled along the Tiber together with encroaching Etruscans who with fire and sword but also with astonishing skill with the cultivation and irrigation and an exemplary administration created the Roman empire, with Rome as the glittering center of the world or caput mondi. Under Emperors Augustus, Nero, Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius, the town of the seven hills continued its ascendancy.
Luxury for idle hands

The Coliseum, with space for 50,000 people was built and the Caracalla hot springs with their hot and cold baths, cosmetic salons, libraries, and lecture halls for 1,700 visitors offered a world of beauty and leisure. A crucial turning point occurred in 391 when Emperor Constantine endorsed Christianity. The Christ-ian Rome came into being and the imperial Rome diminished. There were times when the city became abandoned such as following the departure of the Pope to Avignon in 1309 but every decline was followed by the city regaining prominence and it was a stronghold of the Renaissance and rediscovered its special glory during the Baroque era.
Against the will of the Pope the city was selected as his place of residence by the newly chosen Italian king in 1871 and remained the capital city when the Italians voted for a Republic in 1946, The Vatican City is a sovereign state and has its own rail station, post office, radio station, and its own diminutive army, the Swiss Guard, which legend has it wears uniforms designed by Michelangelo.
Living antiquity

Those who want to get to know the eternal city can best head for the Forum Romanun, 
where you will be confronted with the elegant world of antiquity that has been 
assembled together, visit Hadrian's column, and the Pantheon with its arched dome 
but also the Coliseum, the Catacombs, and the Via Appia Antica. Another tour of the 
city is worth while for Renaissance Rome and the powerful Baroque face of the city 
which form a symbiosis of art and way of life that is so right for this city on the Tiber. 
There is such zest for life at the Piazza Navona with its four teaming fountains, 
such elegance at the Spanish Steps, and such perfect harmony at the 
Piazza della Rotonda!
A stroll through Rome is crowned with a visit to the Vatican City, with must see St. Peter's Square by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from which St. Peters rises up in perfect harmony with the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and its Pieta or ceiling paintings by Michelangelo. Lovers of the art of gardening should wander through the parks and admire the Farnesi gardens to admire the sumptuous water features. After all in the end there nothing the Romans adore more then flowing water.
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