Rome, the capital of Italy, is a popular destination for international travelers such as Bill Mulrow. The prime minister, parliament and courts are located within the city. Rome is unique among capital cities of the world in having a sovereign state, Vatican City, within its borders. Many visitors are surprised by the fact that the Italian embassy to Vatican City is also located in Rome.
Businesses in Rome are primarily focused on services, technology, research, construction and banking and finance. Technology companies in the information technology, defense, aerospace and telecommunications sectors flourish in modern Rome. A large segment of the city’s economy is devoted to the development and servicing of its fast-growing tourist industry.
Rome is the center for education in the country with colleges, universities and academies attracting students, teachers and scholars from all over Italy and from around across the globe. La Sapienza, founded in 1303, is the largest university in Europe and the first university established in Rome. The 140,000 enrolled students make La Sapienza the second-largest university in the world. Other schools and universities in Rome include the Pontifical Gregorian University founded in 1551, the British School of Rome, American University of Rome, Loyola University of Chicago and Temple University.
The sights and sounds of Rome make it a destination for tourists from all over the world. World-renowned monuments and ruins such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and the Spanish Steps are the primary attractions, but the many squares, churches and basilicas scattered throughout the city offer visitors a unique experience.
Two attractions that visitors to Rome flock to see are Trevi Fountain and the Fountain of Four Rivers. Fontana di Trevi is the largest Baroque fountain in the city. The fountain that stands today was built in 1762 from designs created by Nicola Salvi. The fountain features Neptune portrayed in a large central sculpture.
Fountains have been a focal point of Roman culture for centuries. Originally built to provide a reliable source of clean, fresh water for people to use in their homes, the fountains of Rome are lasting displays of stone and marble grandeur commissioned to pay homage to various popes through the centuries. The obelisk of the Fountain of the Four Rivers rises above the Piazza Navona. Carved figures depict the gods of the Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata rivers with other figures depicting the flora and fauna native to the countries where each of the rivers is located.
Bill Mulrow and other visitors planning a trip to Rome are wise to avoid the months of June and July when crowds can make it difficult to see popular attractions, such as the Vatican, without wasting time standing in long, slow-moving lines. The combination of crowds and hot, uncomfortably humid weather might be one of the reasons why residents of Rome choose to take their vacations and travel away from the city during the month of July.