According to legend, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber about 25 km from the sea at Ostia.
, in the center of the river between Trastevere and the ancient city center, was the site of an important ancient ford and was later bridged.
Legend says Rome's founders, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, were abandoned on its waters, where they were rescued by the she-wolf, Lupa.
The Tiber was critically important to Roman trade and commerce, as ships could reach as far as 100 km upriver; some evidence indicates that it was used to ship grain from the Val Teverina as long ago as the 5th century BC.
It was later used to ship stone, timber, and foodstuffs to Rome. [¬Wikipedia
During the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BC, the harbour at Ostia became a key naval base. It later became Rome's most important port, where wheat, olive oil, and wine were imported from Rome's colonies around the Mediterranean.
Wharves were also built along the riverside in Rome itself, lining the riverbanks around the Campus Martius area. The Romans connected the river with a sewer system (the Cloaca Maxima) and with an underground network of tunnels and other channels, to bring its water into the middle of the city.
Several popes attempted to improve navigation on the Tiber in the 17th and 18th centuries, with extensive dredging continuing into the 19th century. Trade was boosted for a while, but by the 20th century, silting had resulted in the river only being navigable as far as Rome.
The Tiber was once known for its floods — the Campus Martius is a flood plain and would regularly flood to a depth of 2m. The river is now confined between high stone embankments, which were begun in 1876.
Within the city, the riverbanks are lined by boulevards known as lungoteveri, streets "along the Tiber".
The Forum Romanum (Roman Forum)
The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire, a process in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, and its vast territory was divided into several successor polities.
The Roman Empire lost the strengths that had allowed it to exercise effective control over its Western provinces; modern historians posit factors including the effectiveness and numbers of the army, the health and numbers of the Roman population, the strength of the economy, the competence of the emperors, the internal struggles for power, the religious changes of the period, and the efficiency of the civil administration.
Increasing pressure from invading barbarians outside Roman culture also contributed greatly to the collapse.
The Circus Maximus (Latin for 'largest circus'; Italian: Circo Massimo) is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium
and mass entertainment venue in Rome.
The Circus Maximus was sited on the level ground of the Valley of Murcia, between Rome's Aventine and Palatine Hills. In Rome's early days, the valley would have been rich agricultural land, prone to flooding from the river Tiber.
In Livy's History of Rome, the first Etruscan king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, built raised, wooden perimeter seating at the Circus for Rome's highest echelons (the equites and patricians), probably midway along the Palatine straight, with an awning against the sun and rain. His grandson, Tarquinius Superbus, added the first seating for citizen-commoners (plebs, or plebeians).
In the 190s BC, stone track-side seating was built, exclusively for senators.
Permanent wooden starting stalls were built in 329 BC. They were gated, brightly painted, and staggered to equalise the distances from each start place to the central barrier. In theory, they might have accommodated up to 25 four-horse chariots (Quadrigas) abreast but when team-racing was introduced. [¬Wikipedia]
We walked to the nearby metro station