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Rome is a special comune (named Comune di Roma Capitale) and the capital of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,870,336 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the center of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4.3 million residents. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country geographically located within the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans more than 2,500 years.
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