Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated municipality.
The city of Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River. Its history spans over two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was a major political and cultural influence in the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea for over seven hundred years from the 1st Century BC until the 7th Century AD. Since the 2nd Century AD Rome has been the seat of the Papacy and, after the end of Byzantine domination, in the eighth century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic. Since 1929 it is also the site of the Vatican, an independent city-state presided over by the Pope.