The city of Rome is one of the most ancient, important and impressive capitals of the world. With much of its ancient splendor intact, the city is dazzling and attractively located. It is surrounded by two rivers: the Tiber and the Aniene. The seven hills form the natural boundaries of the city, providing a splendid setting for millennia, the world has been in awe of the Eternal City and exactly why Rome remains the city of seven hills?
Rome’s location was ideal for a city originally founded by Sabines, Etruscans and Latins. The Seven Hills connected by the Tiber River formed the `island’ made by Rome. The hills of Rome, many of which are occupied by various residential neighborhoods today, are important because of their strength and military advantages in a time before powerful walls.
One of the main advantages of its location is the proximity to many other places. It is not just easy to visit the city, but also to reach other Italian cities, which were its close trading partners, and even those in the rest of Europe. Strategic geography has always been an advantage for the city of Rome. Its position along the Mediterranean Sea and its proximity to many other Mediterranean states allowed the city to witness its own rise as one of the most powerful civilisations in the world.
Rome also has fertile soil rich of nutritious minerals with rain throughout the year. Special terrain of this ancient place is suitable for grapevine cultivation, forming several barrels of precious wines. Furthermore, its wealth of artesian wells ensure an excellent water supply. That is why in the era of ancient times, the Roman population could reach up to one million citizens. This never happened before in a city that was considered to be impenetrable.
Moreover, Rome has two airports, Ciampino and Fiumicino, which makes it easy to get to the city and explore its history, culture and natural attractions. Tourists usually use Ciampino Airport which is close to the city centre. The ports of Rome are also an important factor in its location and provide great transport links directly to other European cities.
Experts in antiquity also suggest that the location of Rome was chosen to facilitate the practice of ancient religious rites, taking into account the alignments of certain celestial bodies as well as their spiritual significance. People used to say that the very location of Rome was imbued with sacred energy, just as the location of Mecca for Muslims and Jerusalem for Jews and Christians.
The location of Rome was ideal for the success of the city and its military advantage in Ancient times and still today due to its strategic position. From its favorable geographic location, its natural resources, its access to transportation, to its spiritual history, Rome was the perfect backdrop to thrive and become the most important city in history.
Location and Ancient Religion
The significance of Rome’s location in terms of its spiritual significance relates to its ancient religion. Ancient Rome had its own religion, known as ‘Roman religion’ and its own gods, with whom King Numa Pompilius established an entire system of cults and rites. The location of Rome was chosen as one of many auspicious symbols of the dawn of a new era in which a god would come to start a new civilisation. This association with the divine made Rome a sacred place in the eyes of its inhabitants.
Rome was thought to have been established at the beginning of the Iron Age in the 8th century BC. Its architecture reflects the ancient religion of its people, from its temple designs to the layout of its streets and squares. The layout of Rome’s Imperial Fora was planned to reflect the motion of the planets, a representation of the heavens, and to integrate the celestial order into the urban landscape.
The location of the different altars and temples around Rome was decided as part of a complex plan, designed to create a favourable link between human and divine energies. The Vestals, the six priestesses of the goddess Vesta and her sacred flame, were supposed to mix fire, water and earth in a special blend which they ceremoniously molded in the temple. This mixture was then used to ritually consecrate the location of Rome.
Location and Roman Strategies
Rome’s location has been used strategically since its foundation as a military trump card in Ancient Rome. The seven hills acted as long-lasting forts for the city, offering both a tactical advantage and a distraction for attackers who would find it hard to stay focused enough to operate. Rome’s increasing prominence was due in part to its location, which was hard to attack from the land or the sea, but relatively easy to defend.
Rome’s walled city structure and its location made it difficult for attackers to break in. Furthermore, the Tiber River served as a natural deterrent for false moves made by enemies. The Romans also built the Appian Way, an engineering masterpiece that was constructed to facilitate communication and transport within the city.
Military engineers also built a series of powerful fortresses, towers and walls outside the city, which served to protect Rome from potential and actual invasions. These fortifications kept the enemy at bay and gave the Romans the opportunity to stage a successful counter-attack. Rome’s location was perfectly situated not just for military defense, but also for its growing trade network.
Location and the Roman Trade Network
Rome was located close to the sea, on a river and along the Appian Way. This transportation network enabled Rome to become the most prosperous city in the ancient world, as it allowed quick access to the Mediterranean Sea. Trade routes in the Mediterranean were long and Rome was able to benefit from trade with its neighbors as well as across seas.
The city quickly grew in both wealth and size, as traders from near and far visited its docks.The city had many ports and those ports were connected to the Tiber River which allow traders to reach Rome from islands.
Rome’s location was key to the success of its many trades. The city was a crucial link in the maritime struggles between Italy, Greece, Egypt and the Middle East. Roman vessels travelled to North Africa, where they could purchase many resources like spices, fruits, perfumes and gold. Rome’s ability to control its trade in this region was a major deciding factor in its prosperity.
The city was also able to trade easily with colonies in the Mediterranean. This gave Rome access to many goods that could be shipped to or from the city, such as metals, pottery, textiles and many other commodities. Trade with foreign civilizations also brought their own customs and culture to the city, which allowed Rome to become a melting pot of cultures.
Location and Urbanism
The ancient Romans were quite talented in urban planning and their knowledge in the field was far superior to that of their predecessors. The Romans had a knack for expanding their cities and were able to create entire communities and cities in areas where nothing had previously existed. This was mainly thanks to their understanding of how to best utilize the resources at hand and their knowledge of how to use the land to best effect.
The Romans knew that the area where Rome is located was ideal for a city. The hillsides provided easy access and the valleys allowed them to build roads and canals. The different elevations also enabled the Romans to irrigate their crops and build aqueducts. Rome’s landscape was also perfect for its different structures. The hillsides provided an amphitheater or coliseum where grand events could be held and the valleys from where structures like the Pantheon where built.
The Romans were also able to construct efficient networks for water and other commodities. They constructed a vast system of sewers, aqueducts and cisterns which allowed them to quickly distribute commodities and material to and from the city, enabling it to grow in size and wealth.
Location and Modern Rome
Today, the location of Rome is still as important as it was in the days of the Roman Empire. The city has grown in size and boasts some of the best attractions in Europe. Rome’s location remains a key factor in its growth and popularity. As a city at the crossroads of Europe it allows visitors to easily get to and explore its rich cultural, historical, and natural attractions.
Rome is ever-changing and the city is adapting to modern times. Rome has built a smart transportation system which includes the efficient underground Metropolitana and an expanding tramline which enables faster, efficient and greener travel across Rome.The city also boasts two international airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino, making it an ideal destination for visiting tourists.
The modern history of Rome is intrinsically tied to the location of the eternal city and the incredible potential it holds. Rome is a prime example of how the right location can make all the difference. Its strategic location and its unique geographical position, coupled with its history, heritage and culture make it the top tourist destination in Europe today.