Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, on the western border of the state. It is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area, population 96,250 (2009), which encompasses all of Floyd County. At the 2010 census, the city alone had a total 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.