Rome is the capital and largest city of Italy, being the center of Italy since the times of the Roman Empire and remaining the center of Christianity. Rome is located in the center of the peninsula, located in the Lazio region on the shores of the Tiber River, and its foundation in 753 BC makes Rome one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities on Earth. The city was capital of the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, Roman Empire, and then the Kingdom of Italy, and it would later be ruled by the Papal States until the full reunification of Italy in 1870. The city was once the architectural and cultural center of the world, as the Popes gave their patronage to several artists during the Italian Renaissance. Today, it is a center of history, as it is considered to be one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. In 2014, the city had a population of 4,321,244 in the metropolitan city, with 2,869,461 people in the city itself. This does not include the small population of the Vatican City, an independent enclave within the city of Rome that has served as the residence of the Pope since the 1929 Lateran Treaty.
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