City of Rome

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Rome panoramic view

Rome's history spans 28 centuries and it is one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. Nowdays is the capital of Italy. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Rome is the fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. Public parks and nature reserves cover a large area in Rome, and the city has one of the largest areas of green space among European capitals.

In 2016, 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.

Although the city centre is about 24 kilometres (15 mi) inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the city territory extends to the shore, where the south-western district of Ostia is located. The altitude of the central part of Rome ranges from 13 metres (43 ft) above sea level (at the base of the Pantheon) to 139 metres (456 ft) above sea level (the peak of Monte Mario).

The city hosts eight ancient Egyptian and five ancient Roman obelisks, together with a number of more modern obelisks; there was also formerly (until 2005) an ancient Ethiopian obelisk in Rome.

Rome today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world, due to the incalculable immensity of its archaeological and art treasures, as well as for the charm of its unique traditions, the beauty of its panoramic views, and the majesty of its magnificent "villas" (parks).

Rome is also widely recognised as a world fashion capital. Although not as important as Milan, Rome is the fourth most important centre for fashion in the world, according to the 2009 Global Language Monitor after Milan, New York and Paris, and beating London.

Major luxury fashion houses and jewelry chains, such as Valentino, Bulgari, Fendi,Laura Biagiotti, Brioni and Renato Balestra, are headquartered or were founded in the city.

Also, other major labels, such as Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Versace have luxury boutiques in Rome, primarily along its prestigious and upscale Via dei Condotti.

Rome is since 9 April 1956 exclusively and reciprocally twinned only with Paris, France with a mutual saying: “Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris”.