Is Rome a City or Town?

By Alice Nichols

Is Rome a City or Town?

Rome, the capital city of Italy, is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and historically significant places in the world. As a traveler or someone curious about geography, you might wonder whether Rome is considered a city or a town. Let’s delve into this question and explore the classification of Rome.

Understanding the Difference Between Cities and Towns

Before we determine whether Rome is a city or town, it’s important to understand the distinction between these two terms. While both cities and towns are urban areas, there are certain characteristics that differentiate them.


  • A city is typically larger in size and population compared to a town.
  • Cities often have more developed infrastructure, including transportation systems, cultural institutions, and public services.
  • City governments may have more complex administrative structures.


  • Towns are usually smaller in size and population compared to cities.
  • Towns may have less developed infrastructure and fewer amenities compared to cities.
  • The administrative structure of towns is often simpler compared to cities.

Rome as a City

Rome undoubtedly fits the definition of a city by all standards. It is not only the capital but also the largest city in Italy with a population exceeding 2.8 million people (as of 2021). The city spans an area of approximately 1,285 square kilometers (496 square miles), making it significantly larger than most towns around the world.

Besides its size, Rome boasts a highly developed infrastructure. The city is well-connected with an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro network. It is also home to numerous cultural landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Vatican City.

Rome’s administrative structure is complex, with a mayor and a city council overseeing various aspects of governance. It further strengthens the argument that Rome is indeed a city rather than a town.


Based on its population size, infrastructure development, and administrative structure, it is clear that Rome is classified as a city rather than a town. Its historical significance and cultural heritage only add to its status as one of the world’s most renowned cities.

Whether you visit Rome as a tourist or study it from afar, understanding its classification as a city helps appreciate its grandeur and uniqueness even more!