Rome is the capital of Italy and also of the Province of Rome and of the region of Lazio. Rome has a 1,285.3 km2 area, it is also the country's largest commune. The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative city limits. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, along the shores of Tiber river. Vatican City is an independent country within 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. Although the city center is about 24 kilometers inland, 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 meters above sea level to 139 meters above sea level.
Rome has a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers.
Its average annual temperature is above 20 °C during the day and 10 °C at night. In the coldest month, the average temperature is 12 °C during the day and 3 °C at night. In the warmest months, the average temperature is 30 °C during the day and 18 °C at night.
Average annual precipitation is 80.4 cm. Snowfall is rare but not unheard of, with light snow or flurries occurring almost every winter, generally without accumulation, and major snowfalls once every 20 or 25 years.
Rome's history spans more than 2500 years, since its founding in 753 BCE. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as "The Eternal City". In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.
Rome produces 6.7% of the Gross Regional Product (GRP). Rome is still the major administrative center of the region.
Although the economy of Rome is characterised by the absence of heavy industry and it is largely dominated by services, high-technology companies, research, construction and commercial activities, and tourism are extremely important to its economy.
Universities, national radio and television and the movie industry in Rome are also important parts of the economy: The city is also a center for banking and insurance as well as electronics, energy, transport, and aerospace industries. Numerous international companies and agencies headquarters, government ministries, conference centres, sports venues, and museums are located in Rome's principal business districts.