Rome has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, although it is conceivable that humans have occupied the place that is now modern-day Rome for 14,000 years. The legendary city is said to have been founded in 753 BC by Romulus. A civil war incited by Julius Caesar in 49 BC ended with the rise of Caesar to dictator, which ended with the 44 BC assassination of Caesar on the infamous Ides of March (March 15). The ancient city was the capital of the Roman Empire by 27 BC, ruled by Emperor Augustus. The period that followed was full of enlightenment and a span of 200 years of peace. Rome spent a prosperous period of nearly 700 years as being an important city of Western civilization in regard to politics, wealth, and population.
In the Middle Ages, the city became quite important to the Catholic Church, and the Church States (or Papal States) were founded in 756 with the transfer of jurisdiction to the Pope. The city was the capital of the Papal States all the way into 1870 AD. There was an uneasy amount of corruption in The Church over the 15th Century, which is, in part, evident by the extravagant architecture built around this time for people of the cloth. Artworks and architecture from the Renaissance period that followed are also impressive. Under the reign of the Medici family (Leo X and Clement VII), Rome was in a high point and experienced an age of incredible artistic processing. This period was full of wealth and art, although the church lost a level of importance that was highlighted by the suppression of Jesuit order by Pope Clement XIV in 1773.
Around the end of World War I, the fascist ruler Mussolini took control of Rome and allied the city with Nazi Germany. Luckily, Rome escaped much devastation and destruction through World War II, though it was under German occupation until 1944. The city came out on top, however, reinventing itself as a fashion capital in the 1950s, was the backdrop for numerous movies, and seeing an influx of population that continues to this day.
Some travellers let the climate dictate the time of the year that they make their holiday trip to Rome. These travellers will often visit Rome in the Spring or early Fall. Others base their travel upon school and work holidays. There are others, still, which are able to base their plans upon the events and festivals going on in and around Rome. The Spring in Rome is centred on two main Catholic and Christian holidays- Lent and Easter. The various churches and basilica's in Rome are overflowing with visitors and the Papal State- Vatican City, is also quite popular during the holy season. Christmas is of large importance to both The Church and the people of Rome. There are various displays, masses, and markets to visit over the Christmas season in Rome.
Whenever you choose to visit Rome, bear in mind that many shops, hotels, and local businesses go on holiday from August 15 to the beginning of September and that some attractions take advantage of winter months to do renovations and cleaning meaning they are sometimes open for limited hours. That being said, during August, some hotels offer steep discounts as an enticement to come to the city over the slow season. There is something called the shoulder season, between April and June, and the months of September and October where the weather is ideal in Rome, and the crowds are at a level between the low and busy seasons. In recent years, the secret of the shoulder season has become less of a secret, and now this season does not offer the discounts and deals originally associated with it, but the weather is still ideal- naturally.
Due to the city's location, the climate in Rome is Mediterranean. The average temperatures in Rome are about 12C in the coldest parts of the year and reach around 30C during the warmest months. According to the weather, the Spring and Fall are the ideal periods for holidays to Rome because the skies are clear, and the weather is mild. The temperatures are at their most temperate, and the weather is not particularly wet (save for November). March through June and September and October are ideal for tourism.
The coolest temperatures in Rome are often in January. The city sees very mild winters that make it a great destination for winter travel. Temperatures average between 10C and 15C and snow is not common. If any snow does fall, it generally does not stick. The wet season is in November. This is the month of the largest amount of rainfall, sometimes reaching almost 50 millimetres of rainfall in a single month with 1.6 millimetres of average daily rain.
The city is known for having warm summers. July and August are often hot enough to deter much tourism to the city. The warmest months have seen average temperatures of over 37C, which is likely why most locals clear out of the city by August and even many local businesses close their doors for the month. June and July are generally the driest months of the year, with the usual rainfall at 6.6 millimetres for the entire month of July and even less in June.
A list of things to do in a city as large and historical as Rome would be immense. The truth is there is so much to do in this city, that one, two, or ten visits may not even be enough. It is important to know what you wish to accomplish on your Roman holiday prior to arriving, and it is also advisable to be reasonable with your wishes and not try to exhaust yourself and your party by trying to do it all in one trip. For ancient Roman splendour, be sure to visit the area along the Via dei Fori. Many historical sites are situated along this road. The Colosseum is on the route, as is the Trajan's Forum, Roman Forum, Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus, Flavian Palace, Trajas Baths, and the Golden House of Nero, among more archaeological gems. Furthermore, of importance is the Pantheon, Castel Sant' Angelo, the Baths of Caracalla, and the numerous segments of the Roman aqueduct system. Religious pilgrims should be sure to visit the Vatican City. Other sites, such as the St Paul's Outside the Walls, St Peters, San Giovanni, and the Santa Maria Maggiore are within Rome's limits. Early Christian churches are also of importance in Rome. For a great example of Christianity in Rome, make sure you visit the San Clemente or Santa Costanza churches. The art lover will find much to do in Rome, as well. The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna houses work from Van Gough, Monet, Degas, and Cezanne among other accomplished artists. For religious art, visit the Vatican Museum, where the famed Sistine Chapel can be seen. Furthermore, the Villa Borghese is home to many museums in a small area, so that is also a great destination for art aficionados.
Nightlife in Rome is generally livelier in the winter months, as many locals including business owners, take a holiday to escape the sweltering heat in the summer. However, the cooler months do boast a great night-life scene. In the summers, locals generally head out to the towns of Fregene or Ostia, which are about 45 minutes away, by the sea. San Lorenzo district is known for many bars, clubs, and pubs due to its proximity to the universities in the city. Weekend nights (notably Saturdays) are well alive here, and the streets are commonly filled with party-goers going pub to pub.
If you are absolutely unsure of how to spend your evening in Rome, consider joining one of the local pub crawls and go from bar to bar with other merry-makers in seek of a great evening full of even greater stories. Across the River, Tiber is the Trastevere district. There are a number of great eateries on this district. Furthermore, of note is the Isola Tiberina, a summer-time island bar that is quite fun. If you are looking for discos, you can find many of those around Rome. Due to the largeness of Rome, be sure to find out where the clubs are before going, and it is advisable to get good directions at that time. Midra Srl runs some of the most popular discos in the city: Alien, Gilda, Piper, and more. During the summer, Gilda closes in Rome and moves to the coast at Fregene, where it takes on the persona Gilda on the Beach.
Rome is a popular tourism destination. The city is known for having a rich historical background that lends itself to many sites of world importance. The Swedish Institute at Rome The American Academy are world-class institutes that conduct research on the multitude of archaeological sites around Rome. Some of the most notable ancient locations are the Colosseum - a Wonder of the World, Trajan's Market, and the Pantheon. Rome is also popular for sports. Football is the most well-liked sport in Rome, and the city hosted the FIFA World Cup Finals in both 1990 and 1934. Local athletes, those that play for the Roman football clubs and were also born in Rome, are of great celebrity status. The city was also the home of the 1960 Summer Olympics, which gave the city a chance to build new stadiums to host the games.
Fashion also draws quite a crown to Rome. Just after Milan, New York, and Paris, Rome is 4th in importance in the world of fashion. The city is home to boutiques and shops from famous elite design houses such as Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabanna, and Chanel. The city is also the headquarters for Fendi, Laura Biagiotti, and Bulgari.