Italy had some fairly large fertile plains ideal for farming. Po valley was probably the most fertile agricultural area; the plain of latium, on which Rome was located. Geography had an impact on Roman history. Rome's location was favorable from a geographical point of view. Located eighteen miles inland on the Tiber River, Rome had access to the sea and yet was far enough inland to be safe from pirates. Because Rome was built on the famous seven hills, it was easily defended. All in all, Rome had a good central location in Italy from which to expand.
The twin brothers Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C.E founded Rome, and archaeologists have founded that by the eighth century B.C.E there was a settlement consisting of huts on the tops of Rome's Hills. The early Romans, basically a pastoral people, spoke latin, which, like Greek, belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. Rome had been under the control of seven kings and that two of the last three kings had been Etruscans, a people who were located north of Rome in Etruria. Rome fell under the influence of the Etruscans for about a hundred years during the period of the kings. The Etruscans founded Rome a pastoral community but left it a city. .
By the beginning of the sixth century B.C.E., under Etruscan influence, Rome began to emerge as an actual city. The Etruscans were responsible for an outstanding building program. They constructed the first roadbed of the chief street throught Rome-the Sacred Way-before 575 B.C.E. and oversaw the development of temples, markets, shops, streets, and houses. By 509 B.C.E., a new Rome had emerged. This date was also the date the monarchy supposedly was overthrown and a republican form of government established. .
The Etruscans greatly influenced the early development of Rome and had an impact on Roman religion, sporting events, and military institutions. .