One of the most ancient cities in Europe, ancient Rome has lived through 2,700 years.
Since then it has been continously inhabited, and, as headquaters first of the Roman Empire and then of the Roman Catholic Church,
it has had a gigantic impact on the world.
Many European languages are based on Latin, many political and legal systems follow the ancient Roman model;
and buildings all round the world utilize styles and techniques perfected in ancient Rome.
Today's Rome has become the world's most famous open-air museum. The city itself retains layers of buildings spanning over two millenia.
» Find out more about the History of Rome
The Ancient Centre
The Capitol, the southern summit of the Capitoline Hill, was the symbolic centre of the Roman world and home to the city's three most important temples.
Below the Capitol lies the Roman Forum, once the focus of political, social, legal and commercial life;
the Imperial Fora, built when Rome's population grew; The Roman Forum is known as the central area around which ancient Rome developed;
and the Colosseum, the centre of entertainment.
Overlooking the Forum is the Palantine Hill, where Romulus is said to have founded Rome in the 8th century BC, and emperors lived for over 400 years.