Resting on seven hills, with the Etowah, Oostanaula, and Coosa Rivers running among them, Rome’s topographical layout is believed to have inspired early European-American settlers to name their city after the capital of Italy. Owing to the location’s geographic advantages, earlier inhabitants were the Creek people, who were later pushed out by the Cherokee, migrating to the area from the present-day state of Tennessee. After gold was discovered near Dahlonega, the Cherokee were forcibly removed to Indian Territory under the strictures of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, signed by President Andrew Jackson.
Rome developed and grew during the Antebellum period as a major cotton shipping point to downriver markets on the Gulf Coast and overseas. Civil War fighting came to North Georgia in 1863-64, during the Battle of Chickamauga, the Atlanta Campaign, and Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea, which ended in Savannah. Rome’s growing industrial base had attracted the attention of Union troops, who set fire to the town in November 1864. Historical commemorations of those bloody days can be found in and around Rome.
In the 21st century, Rome, with a population of around 36,000, is a diverse and charming destination. The historic downtown area, which has the nostalgic look and vibe of a 1950s small town, is a mecca for the arts, culture, and appetizing cuisine. Rome, GA is a very appealing location for a Shamrock Tour home base.
The Appalachian foothills and lush vegetation in the area provide dramatic overlooks, pastoral vistas, and verdant tunnels of overarching tree limbs. The best time to go is in spring or fall to avoid high levels of heat and humidity common in summer months.