Rome enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate which characterizes the Mediterranean coasts of Italy. It is at its most comfortable from April through June , and from mid- September to October ; in particular, the Roman ottobrate ( ottobrata can roughly be translated as "beautiful October day") are famously known as sunny and warm days. By August , the temperature during the heat of the day often exceeds 32° C (90° F); traditionally, many businesses would close during August , and Romans would abandon the city for holiday resorts, but this trend is weakening, and the city is increasingly remaining fully functional during the whole summer, in response to growing tourism as well as change in the population's work habits. The average high temperature in December is about 14° C (57° F).
Weather averages for Rome, Italy
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|Source: Weatherbase 2007
The original language of Rome was Latin , which evolved during the Middle Ages into Italian . The latter emerged as the confluence of various regional dialects, among which the Tuscan dialect predominated, but the population of Rome also developed its own dialect, the Romanesco . The ancient romanesco , used during the Middle Ages , was a southern Italian dialect, very close to the Neapolitan . The influence of the Florentine culture during the renaissance , and, above all, the immigration to Rome of many florentines who were among the two Medici Popes' ( Leo X and Clement VII ) suite, caused a strong change of the dialect, which became much closer to the Tuscan varieties. This remained largely confined to Rome until the 19th century , but then expanded other zones of Lazio ( Civitavecchia , Latina ), from the beginning of the 20th century , thanks to the rising population of Rome and to better transportation systems. As a consequence, Romanesco abandoned its traditional forms to mutate into the dialect spoken within the city, which is more similar to standard Italian , although remaining distinct from other Romanesco-influenced local dialects of Lazio. Dialectal literature in the traditional form Romanesco includes the works of such authors as Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli , Trilussa , and Cesare Pascarella .
The historical centre ville is dominated by the traditional " Seven hills of Rome ": the Capitoline , Palatine , Viminal , Quirinal , Esquiline , Caelian , and Aventine hills. The Tiber flows south through Rome, with the city centre located where the midstream Tiber Island facilitated crossing. Large parts of the ancient city walls remain. The Servian Wall was built twelve years after Gauls ' sack of the city in 390 BC ; it contained most of the Esquiline and Caelian hills, as well as the whole of the other five. Rome grew out of the Servian Wall , but no more walls were constructed until 270 AD , when Aurelian began building the Aurelian Walls . These were almost twelve miles long, and was still the wall the troops of the Kingdom of Italy had to breach to enter the city in 1870 .
The ancient city within the walls covers about four percent of the modern municipality's 582 square miles. The old city is the smallest of Rome's twelve administrative zones. The walled city center is made up of 22 rioni (districts) , surrounding it are 35 quartieri urbani (urban sectors), and within the city limits are six large suburbi ( suburbs ). The comune of Rome located outside the municipal boundaries about doubles the area of the actual city.
The belt Highway known as Grande Raccordo Anulare (G.R.A.) describes a huge circle around the capital, about six miles out from the city centre; unlike most Italian highways, the G.R.A. is toll-free. The circle ties together the antique roads that led to Rome: the Via Flaminia , Via Aurelia , Via Salaria , Via Tiburtina , Via Casilina and Via Appia . Large amounts of modern apartment buildings are located in the districts outside the centre, where contemporary architecture has not gone unnoticed. Many street frontages and show windows often change to keep up with the times and the Romans have succeeded in blending the old and the new.
Though relatively small, the old city center contains about 300 hotels and 300 pensioni , over 200 palaces, 900 churches, eight of Rome's major parks, the residence of the President of the Italian Republic , the houses of the Parliament , offices of the city and city government, and many great and well-known monuments. The old city also contains thousands of workshops, offices, bars, and restaurants. Millions of tourists visit Rome annually, making it one of the most visited cities in the world.
The city of Rome surrounds the Vatican City, the enclave of the Holy See , which is a separate sovereign state. It hosts Saint Peter's Square with the Saint Peter's Basilica . The open space before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini , from 1656 to 1667 , under the direction of Pope Alexander VII , as an appropriate forecourt, designed "so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the façade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace" (Norwich 1975 p 175). In Vatican City there are also the prestigious Vatican Library , Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel , the Raphael Rooms and other important works of Leonardo Da Vinci , Raphael , Giotto , Botticelli .
Museums and galleries
The list of most important museums and galleries of Rome includes: the National Museum of Rome , the Museum of Roman Civilization , the Villa Giulia National Etruscan Museum, the Capitoline Museums , the Borghese Gallery , the Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo , the National Gallery of Modern Art .
Rome is served by three airports , of which the main two are owned by Aeroporti di Roma . The intercontinental Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport is Italy's chief airport; it is more commonly known as "Fiumicino airport" , as it is located within the territory of the nearby comune of Fiumicino , south-west of Rome. The older Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport is a joint civilian and military airport; it is more commonly referred to as "Ciampino Airport", as it is located within Roman territory near the border with the comune of Ciampino , south-east of Rome.
A third airport, the Aeroporto dell'Urbe , is a small, low-traffic airport located about 6 km north of the city centre, which handles most helicopter and private flights. A fourth airport in the eastern part of the city, the Aeroporto di Centocelle (dedicated to Francesco Baracca ), is no longer open to flights; it hosts the Comando di Squadra Aerea (which coordinates the activities of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana ) and the Comando Operative di Vertice Interforze which coordinates all Italian military activities), although large parts of the airport are being redeveloped as a public park.
Many places are closed including banks, museum and most stores:
Sunday and Monday
|New Year's Day
Sts. Peter and Paul, patron saints of Rome
Assumption of the Virgin
All Saints Day
Day of Immaculate Conception
Saint Stephen's Day