ologna is an Italian town of 392 696 inhabitants, the capital of the metropolitan city of the same name, which in turn is the capital of Emilia-Romagna. It is the seventh most populated municipality in Italy and is at the center of a metropolitan area of about one million inhabitants. Home to the oldest university in the western world, Bologna hosts numerous students who animate its cultural and social life. Known for its towers and long arcades, it has a well-preserved historic center, one of the largest in Italy. The city, whose first settlements date back to at least the first millennium BC, was an important urban center first under the Etruscans and Celts, then under the Romans and, in the Middle Ages, as a free municipality. Northern capital of the Papal States from the sixteenth century, it played a very important role during the Risorgimento and, during the Second World War, it was an important center of the Resistance. After the Second World War, like most of Emilia, it was governed almost uninterruptedly by leftist administrations. Bologna is an important road and railway communications hub in northern Italy, in an area where important mechanical, electronic and food industries reside. It is home to prestigious cultural, economic and political institutions and one of the most advanced trade fair districts in Europe. In 2000 it was the "European capital of culture", while in 2006 it was a UNESCO "city of music"