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Rome, the Eternal City, is the capital of Italy. A cradle of western civilization, Rome draws more visitors than any other Italian city and is the third-most visited in Europe.

The city’s profusion of arts, sculpture and monuments - as those found in and around Michelangelo’s Capitolene museums, the vast Colosseum and its blood-drenched history, Vatican City and magnificent St. Peter's Square, and the serenity of the Villa Borghese gardens - will endlessly enthrall newcomers.

Those settling in this breathtaking city will embrace the cozy atmosphere cultivated by trattoria serving the namesake Pizza Romana, and will take pleasure in whiling away the evening in Rome’s numerous intimate wine and book bars. Sublime chocolate shops and cafes where you can knock back an espresso or take your time over a gran caffé, gelatarias competing on every corner, antique markets and trendy shops, make Rome’s city living a breeze.

Beautiful, residential neighborhoods such as the Monteverde-Gianicolense area adjacent to Trastevere are ideal for families, as well as being close to Villa Pamphili, Rome’s largest municipal park. The Caffarella park in the heart of the city offers welcome relief from the hustle and bustle. Stretching further than the eye can see, it is not uncommon to meet a flock of sheep or stumble across a farmyard selling fresh eggs and cheeses.

Everywhere you turn in Rome, modern is juxtaposed with ancient, urban with rural, wealth with poverty. There is no contradiction, merely rough and tumble harmony.

What is special or unique about your city?
Rome is affectionately known as "Caput Mundi," the "Capital of the World," a nickname born of all its extraordinary monuments and ties to history and the development of civilization. Of course, it's more than just statues and crypts; Rome is also located near beaches and has many modern cultural attractions to entice.

What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
Typical first impressions of Rome are that it is a chaotic city, filled with many people at work who are rushing from place to place. Some are surprised to see how crowded the public transit is. Many newcomers also comment that it is difficult to find ideal housing within their expected budget.

Are these impressions likely to change?
No. Unless you decide to live in the outside of the city, these initial impressions are fairly accurate.

What is the local language?
The local language is Italian but people - especially younger people - understand English.
Furthermore, Italian people are generally helpful and will go out of their way to help foreigners who do not speak Italian.

How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?
You could manage fairly easily without knowing Italian, as people will try to help you out. However, when dealing with bureaucratic tasks involving the Italian government such as immigration, knowledge of Italian is absolutely necessary. In addition, many day-to-day documents, such as banking forms, are usually available in Italian only.

What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?
Italian people are friendly and easy going. But avoid making stereotypical references, for example, about all Italian people being associated with the Mafia or eating pizza and macaroni every day.

How might the local weather affect my daily life?
Summers can be very hot and humid, so when walking around the city it is a good idea to bring a bottle of water and wear a hat. Autumn and winter are quite mild, so there is no need for a huge winter coat.

Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?
People in Rome are very proud of their soccer teams (AS Roma and SS Lazio) so, before arriving, you should probably select a favorite team, as you will be involved in long discussions, especially on
Monday morning.


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