Rome, like the other ancient cities of Europe, is built on a massive archaeological site. Seven hills surrounded ancient Rome. Crests of which were traditionally designated for major public buildings, a purpose they continue to perform today. Many of these structures are built on the ruins of their Roman forefathers.
The city of Rome was founded around 753 B.C. by Romulus and named after him. The original settlement on the seven hills soon grew into an important city-state. In 509 B.C., it became a republic and three years later conquered all its neighboring kingdoms and territories to become one of the largest nations in Europe. By 300 B.C., however, it had begun to decline due to internal politics and wars with its neighbors. It was finally destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 64 and not rebuilt because the new emperor Nero decided that it was better to build his own city instead. Today, only parts of the old city remain, but they can be visited via many of the routes we will take while walking through Italy.
As you travel through Italy, you will notice many buildings with columns supporting their roofs. These columns are made out of marble taken from the surrounding area and they provide support for the roof. However, before building materials such as this were available, the Romans used wood as a column replacement. They would cut down trees near where they lived and use them as pillars in their homes.
The Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Quirinal, and Viminal Hills are currently the sites of monuments, buildings, and parks in modern Rome. Rome's city hall is located on the Capitoline Hill, while the Palatine Hill is part of the primary archaeological region.
The Seven Hills have been important to Rome since its founding. The first settlers in Rome built their houses on the seven hills surrounding the central area where the Tiber River ran. The Romans expanded into the surrounding lands, building roads and cities along with their own version of public works projects: villas and gardens. Today, these same hills serve as a barrier between downtown Rome and its outlying neighborhoods.
In addition to being useful for housing, the hills contain many temples and other religious structures that were dedicated by the early settlers. Over time, these buildings were replaced with more secular structures such as theaters and baths. Some of the larger hills also served as military camps when needed. However, war was not always necessary to utilize the hills. There were times when they were used for sports events or even as open space for public executions.
During the Middle Ages, the population of Rome grew large enough to need additional land. The city-state took control of the surrounding villages by force, making them part of Rome. This expansion led to the creation of new churches, monasteries, and other religious institutions.
Many Roman Emperors contributed to the growth and modernisation of Greek towns, thus it's no surprise that Greece's geography still contains old Roman remains and constructions waiting to be uncovered. Athens' Roman remains are seen here!
In addition to the major cities mentioned above, other important sites with significant numbers of ancient buildings include Alexandria (in Egypt) and Antioch (in Turkey).
The Romans used stone extensively during their construction projects in Greece, so most cities have areas of old walls that date back to this time. After the Romans were defeated in Greece by a coalition of Greeks in 196 B.C., they stopped building new walls and maintained only those parts of their original fortifications that helped protect some of their important settlements. So today's walls in Greece mostly date from after 196, when the Romans first came to Greece. However, many sites have portions of their wall that date back to earlier times because they were part of a larger wall built by an older culture before the Romans arrived in Greece.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in A.D. 476, many cities in Greece fell under Byzantine rule, which was similar to the Rome-based Roman Empire but with different leaders. During this time, people began building houses outside the old city walls in what were called "thriasoi". These new homes were usually made of wood and had flat roofs.
The fact that many old Roman monuments still survive demonstrates how outstanding Roman building was.
The location of Rome had various benefits. One of the benefits was the protection of the peninsula's highlands and mountains. Two main mountain groupings in Italy played critical roles in the formation of ancient Rome. The Apennine Mountains extend along the Italian peninsula from north to south. They are made up of several chains of hills with peaks over 4000 feet (1200 m) high. The Alps are a range of high mountains that form a barrier between France and Italy, including the Piedmont region where Rome is located.
The ancients believed these mountains blocked harmful weather patterns and protected the empire on two fronts. From the north, they provided a refuge for Roman citizens who lived under the threat of foreign invasion.
From the west, they served as a barrier against piracy and unrest in Sicily and southern France.
Both the Alps and the Apennines can be crossed by roads at various points. The Romans built bridges of wood or stone over most rivers larger than a stream. But there are some places where only a ferry could cross the river. There were also many small lakes inside the mountains which could not be reached by roads but only by paths or stairs carved out by men or animals. These areas were considered inaccessible.
Rome has been described as the "city of seven hills" because there are actually more than seven hills in Rome.
Rome is built on the banks of the Tiber River, which divides it into western and eastern sides. Much of Rome is located on the eastern side. The Tiber River flows through the capital's famed hills, surrounded by medieval and historical architectural masterpieces.
Yes, Rome Fiumicino Airport is the largest in Italy and the third-largest in Europe. It is also one of the most important airports in Europe for passenger traffic. The new terminal has been opened in time for the summer holidays in 2008. There are regular flights to all parts of Europe, as well as to North America, Africa, and the Middle East.
Rome has an extensive network of underground streets with named stations. The metro runs for 23 miles between Roma Termini in the center of town and Ottaviano in the west of Rome. In addition, there are buses that cover many of the routes served by the metro.
The bus stop is outside the main entrance to the terminals. A single ticket costs 6 EUR.