The history of Rome spans 2800 years of the existence of a city that grew from a small Italian village in the 9th century BC into the centre of a vast civilisation that dominated the Mediterranean region for centuries. It is one of the oldest named cities in the world. Its political power was eventually replaced by that of peoples of mostly Germanic origin, marking the beginning of the Middle Ages. Rome became the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of a sovereign state, the Vatican City, within its walls. Today it is the capital of Italy, an international worldwide political and cultural centre, a major global city, and is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities of the ancient world.|
Sant’Angelo Bridge, probably the finest surviving in Rome itself, built over the Tiber by the emperor Hadrian (reigned 117–138 ad) to connect the Campus Martius with his mausoleum (later renamed Castel Sant’Angelo). The bridge was completed about ad 135. It consists of seven stone arches and five main spans of about 60 feet (18 m) each, supported on piers 24 feet (7 m) high.