Rome, the capital city of Italy is located in the Lazio region in Italy, Europe, on a peninsula extending from southern Europe into the Mediterranean Sea, bordering France to the northwest, Switzerland and Austria to the north, Slovenia to the northeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Rome has the status of a global city. Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy 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. Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics and is the seat of United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Rome’s history spans more than two and a half thousand years. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at only around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. The city’s early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans and Sabines. Eventually, the city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilisation and by some as the first ever metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, and the expression was also taken up by Ovid, Virgil, and Livy.
Rome is also called the “Caput Mundi” (Capital of the World). In this twenty-year period, Rome became one of the greatest centres of art in the world. The old St. Peter’s Basilica built by Emperor Constantine the Great was demolished and a new one begun.