The city of Rome is paradoxical. Long known as the eternal city, it conveys the image of a fixed anchor in a world of change. Yet, unlike so many other ancient cities, it has at the same time maintained its heritage and adapted to change. Since becoming Italy's capital city in 1870, Rome has been caught between the modern urban demands placed upon it and a lay-out inherited from the past. This study surveys the tension between past and present that pervades the growth of the city.