Geography played a major role in Rome, Italy. Italy is an important location in the middle of the Mediterranean region. in 650 B.C. Etruscans rule Rome, 509 B.C. Rome becomes a republic, and in 267 B.C. Rome controls most of Italy. There are large craggy mountains that separate Italy from European lands to the north. As a result the people who settled in Italy were not split up into small, isolated communities as the Greeks were. In addition Italy had much better farmland than Greece did. With more capacity to produce food, Italy could support more people than Greece could. Historians know little about the first people to live in Italy. There is evidence, however, that groups from the north slipped through Italy's mountain passes between about 1,500 B.C. and 1,000 B.C. Also another mountain range, Apennines, runs all the way down to the boot from north to south.