Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Floyd County. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 36,303. It is the largest city in Northwest Georgia and the 19th largest city in the state.
Rome was built at the confluence of the Etowah and the Oostanaula rivers, forming the Coosa River. Because of its strategic advantages, this area was long occupied by the Creek and later the Cherokee people. National leaders such as Major Ridge and John Ross resided here before Indian Removal.
The city has developed on seven hills with the rivers running between them, a feature that inspired the early European-American settlers to name it for Rome, the longtime capital of Italy. It developed in the antebellum period as a market and trading city due to its advantageous location on the rivers, by which it sent the rich regional cotton commodity crop downriver to markets on the Gulf Coast and export overseas.
It is the second largest city, after Gadsden, Alabama, near the center of the triangular area defined by the Interstate highways between Atlanta, Birmingham and Chattanooga. It has developed as a regional center in such areas as medical care and education. In addition to its public school system, there are several private schools. Higher-level institutions include private Berry College and Shorter University, and the public Georgia Northwestern Technical College and Georgia Highlands College.
In the late 1920s a United States company built a rayon plant in a joint project with an Italian company. This project and the American city of Rome were honored by Italy in 1929, when its dictator Benito Mussolini sent a replica of the statue of Romulus and Remus nursing from a mother wolf, a symbol of the founding myth of the original Rome.
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