• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    Historic centre of Rome

  • Historical Function

    Politics and religion.

  • Administrative Status

    National capital.

Location and site

Rome is situated in the Tiber River Valley, about 20 km. from the sea where the river narrows down. Spread over seven hills, the city occupies the heart of the Italian peninsula and of the Mediterranean.

Urban Morphology

Two successive fortification walls defined the limits of ancient Rome: the first one dates to the birth of the Republic and the second, the Aurelian wall, was built between 272 and 274. The plan of Rome developed in a radiocentric fashion around functional nodes. A network of straight streets were traced in a spontaneous fashion between the axes. Terrestrial routes to the surrounding region radiated out from the centre of the capital.

The monuments and the ruins of ancient Rome, especially those that date to the 1st and 2nd centuries, are integrated into its present-day urban fabric. Under the rule of Augustus, who initiated an official Roman art, Rome was the site of intense architectural activity that involved the construction and renovation of many religious and civic buildings. Over the centuries, the city has experienced major changes in its limits. In the 19th century, a period of remarkable growth, new buildings were completely surrounded by ruins.

Registration Criteria

"From its foundation [...], Rome has continually been linked with the history of mankind. As capital of an empire which dominated the Mediterranean world for 5 centuries, Rome became thereafter the capital of the Christian world and still retains today essential religious as well as political importance." (IV) "It would be difficult to find a city, which offers in as limited an area as many unique aesthetic creations, whose influence on the evolution of art and architecture has been as great." (I and II)

Historical Reference

  • The Republic of Rome endured from 509 B.C. until 27 B.C. It was during the Punic Wars between the Romans and the Carthaginians, which lasted 120 years, that Rome developed its maritime power and expanded its borders until it dominated first the western shores and then the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • In 27 B.C., Octavius, who succeeded Caesar, initiated Rome's imperial system of rule. At this time, the Senate gave him the title of Emperor Augustus (which his successors were to inherit). He ruled over an immense empire, extending to all shores of the Mediterranean; a "pax Romana," or armed peace, ensured that no conflicts occurred at the margins of the imperial domain. The century of Augustus was the golden age of Roman Classicism.
  • In the 2nd century A.D., the Roman Empire was at its largest: it extended as far as Dacia, the Bosphorus, Armenia and Mesopotamia.
Mme Virginia Raggi
Comune di Roma
Via del Campidoglio, 1
00186 Roma, Italia
+39.6 679.8172, 678.8765