From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- A province of Latium, Italy.
- A city, the capital of the province of Latium and also of Italy.
- The Roman Empire
Rome's history as a city spans over two and a half thousand years, as one of the founding cities of Western Civilisation. It was the centre of the Roman Empire, which dominated Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for four hundred years from the 1st Century BC till the 4th Century AD. Rome has a significant place in Christianity and is the present day home of the Roman Catholic Church and the site of the Vatican City, an independent city-state run by the Catholic Church as an enclave of Rome.
Tourism is one of Rome's chief industries, with numerous notable museums including the Vatican Museum, the Borghese Gallery, and the Musei Capitolini: in 2005 the city registered 19.5 million visitors, up of 22.1% from 2001. Rome is also the 3rd most visited city in the EU, and its historic centre along with "the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura" listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The World Heritage site was extended in 1990 to the walls of Urban VIII, to include the Forums, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Mausoleum of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, as well as the religious and public buildings of papal Rome. The city's international branding has proved to be successful; in terms of marketing, the city ranks 9th worldwide, yet in terms of attractions and touristic assets, it ranks 6th. According to the particular study, Rome has several touristic sights, monuments and an attractive atmosphere which makes it one of the top cities cities in terms of branding, yet its communication is less effective than other cities such as Berlin, whilst still remaining in the top ten most commercially successful cities.
Public monuments and buildings, such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are amongst the world's 50 most visited tourist destinations (the Vatican Museums receiving 4.2 million tourists and the Colosseum receiving 4 million tourists every year).