Rome is the capital of Italy. It was the seat and namesake of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. It has been a major Mediterranean city for nearly 25 centuries. It is located on the Tiber River.
Rome was supposedly founded by Romulus and Remus, descendants of the Trojan warrior Aeneas, in the year 753 BC. It was the seat of the Roman Kingdom. In 509 BC, the Roman Kings were overthrown, and the Roman Republic was founded. Rome's population began to increase rapidly. The Republic was replaced with the Roman Empire with the accession of Augustus Caesar in 27 BC.
Numerous public monuments and buildings were built during the Imperial period, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and Trajan's Forum. However, as Rome declined and the empire fell, the city was pillaged for stone and many buildings were destroyed. Rome was reconquered by the Byzantines by Justinian the Great during the Byzantine reconquest of Italy.
In the 8th century, it became the seat of the Papal States. On December 25, 800, Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans in Rome. Rome remained a prestigious, albeit shrunken city during the Middle Ages. The current iteration of Saint Peter's Basilica was constructed during the Renaissance, and decorated by famed artists like Michelangelo.
During Italian unification in the 19th century, the Papal States resisted annexation. It refused to join the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, and was abolished and forcibly integrated in September 1870. Rome's population surged during this period. In 1929, the Lateran Treaty granted a small part of Rome to the Papacy as the Vatican City. During World War II, Rome was captured by the Allies in 1943.