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The present church, third on the site, dates from the 9th century and was restored in the 15th by the Venetian pope Paul II, who also built a new papal residence, the Palazzo Venezia (“Venetian Palace”), near the church.Thereafter, the basilica’s priest was always a Venetian cardinal, sharing the palace with the Venetian embassy.
The capital of an ancient republic and empire whose armies and polity defined the Western world in antiquity and left seemingly indelible imprints thereafter, the spiritual and physical seat of the Roman Catholic Church, and the site of major pinnacles of artistic and intellectual achievement, Rome is the Eternal City, remaining today a political capital, a religious centre, and a memorial to the creative imagination of the past.Small as it is, the old city contains hundreds of hotels, more than 200 (palaces), several of the city’s major parks, the residence of the Italian president, the houses of parliament, offices of local and national government, and the great historical monuments, in addition to thousands of offices, restaurants, and bars.Many of the treasures of Rome no longer can be seen where they were placed originally, many can be seen only in other cities of the world, and many others still in Rome represent the spoils of conquest brought to the city from around the ancient world or the cannibalizing of one age or of one faith upon the creations of an earlier one.Locals refer to it as the “wedding cake” or the “typewriter.” Useful as well as ornamental, it contains a museum of the 19th-century cultural revival.The Vittoriano was bombed by neofascist terrorists in December 1969 and was immediately closed to the public; it reopened in 2001.) on the plan of a Classical basilica (a public hall in pre-Christian Rome).Frosts and occasional light snowfalls punctuate the otherwise mild winters, when high temperatures average just above 50 °F (10 °C).
The (roads)—among them the Via Appia (known in English as the Appian Way), the Via Aurelia, and the Via Flaminia—that led to ancient Rome.
The other hills are the Capitoline, the Quirinal, the Viminal, the Esquiline, the Caelian, and the Aventine., a west wind that rises from the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The city receives roughly 30 inches (750 mm) of precipitation annually; spring and autumn are the rainiest seasons.
Although Rome grew beyond the Servian defenses, no new wall was constructed until the emperor Aurelian began building in brick-faced concrete in 270 .
Approximately 12.5 miles (20 km) long and girdling about 4 square miles (10 square km), the Aurelian Wall is still largely intact.
The heritage of the past that survives in Rome is nevertheless unsurpassed in any city of the West.