Rome did not spring into being as a power on the Italian peninsula. It began as a tiny village along the Tiber River. It was an excellent location. The soil was good so crops could be grown easily. It was surrounded by 7 hills, offering a natural defensive barrier. And of course, it was on a river, the Tiber River, giving these early settlers water for drinking and bathing as well as an easy way to trade. With all these advantages, it's no surprise that Rome grew quickly.