Published on May 2, 2019
Explore locations: Rome
Why are we headquartered in Rome?
Rome has a historical role in Food. It went from being papal city to a national symbol as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy to the capital of a new republic to global reference point for the central theme proposed by the EXPO 2015: Food. It is headquarters to the major UN organizations dealing with Food Security, Agriculture and Sustainable Development: FAO, WFP, IFAD and is the largest district in the agro-food research in Italy: CRA, CNR, ENEA. It is the headquarters for Bioversity International, an international organization that promotes the protection of biodiversity as well as for the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF). The historical city center of Rome with the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the complex of the Imperial Forums constitute the world’s largest archaeological site and is listed as a World Heritage by Unesco. Located in the Region of Lazio, Rome is in close proximity to sea, nature, hills, lakes, rivers and vineyards as well as important historical and cultural landmarks in surrounding towns and villages.
According to tradition, Rome was founded by Romolo in 753 B.C. Have you ever seen the famous bronze sculpture of a she-wolf feeding two human infants? One of them is Romolo. The other is his brother, Remo. They are the famous twins linked to the legend of Rome’s founding. According to this legend, the two brothers and semi-gods were sons of Rhea Silvia and Mars, the god of war. Rhea Silvia was the daughter of King Numitore, who ruled in the ancient city of Alba Longa, not far from where Rome would be later. Numitore was deposed by his brother Amulio who wanted to take control, and forced his niece to make a vow of chastity in order to avoid any threats to his usurped throne. When King Amulio found out about the birth of Romolo and Remo, he became furious and ordered a servant to put the infants into a basket and leave them in the river Tevere. The current brought the basket to an area between the actual Capitoline and the Palatine Hills in the center of Rome, exactly where the female wolf found and weaned them. What happened from that moment on is visible thanks to the eternal marks history has left on the city.
Through the juxtaposition of buildings belonging to different history and art periods; the coexistence of two separate entities in the same territory – the walled enclave known as Vatican City State and the city of Rome, and the city’s countless piazzas and fountains, one can perceive Rome’s hidden stories. The thematic approaches through which to explore Rome are numerous and complex. The city has been the center of the Roman Republic, an empire, and the capital city of the Christian world. Throughout history, it has become a pattern of cultures, peoples, customs, and the arts. For this reason, everyone can have a different motivation for visiting and exploring Rome: architects could be interested in seeing the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana – also called Square Colosseum – in the EUR neighborhood; the faithful could come to see the Pope; archeologists could spend months studying the remains of the Roman forum. The fascinating thing about being in Rome is that the paths of discovery are limitless. To give an example: if you are interested in both ancient sculpture and industrial archeology, Rome has a place for you: the Centrale Montemartini, which was the first public power plant to produce electricity in Rome. Now, within the same premises, it displays a permanent exhibition of ancient art that is a part of the Capitoline Museum’s collection. If you want to learn about the different cultures living in Rome, you should visit the Nuovo Mercato Esquilino, better known as the city’s multicultural market, where you can taste a bit of India, Egypt or Morocco and listen to different languages. Rome also hosts the biggest mosque in Europe. Lovers of nature can visit Villa Borghese, Villa Doria Pamphili or Villa Ada. One can exercise, rest, play ball and have the opportunity to peer into the daily lives of Roman people, such as families, groups of young people, or old couples and friends, as they take time out of their daily routines to catch up and relax. One word links the ancient history of Rome with the present times: innovation. The ancient Romans established aqueducts to provide water for public baths and fountains, promoting public health and sanitation. They also built an outstanding system of roads, some of which are still functional. Today, Rome continues to be a city where innovation is fostered in its many forms. Think about the MAXXI museum project designed by the Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, or the Jubilee Church conceived by the American architect Richard Meier.