Rome is located in Oneida County on the Mohawk River about 90 miles (140 km) northwest of Albany, and about 14 miles (23 km) northwest of Utica. It is a center of copper and brass product manufacturing. Griffiss Air Force Base operated here from 1942 to 1995.
Rome is the site of Fort Stanwix and the Oriskany Battlefield, important during the American Revolution. Originally called Lynchville, the settlement grew after 1797 when construction of a canal linked it with Lake Ontario. The name was changed to Rome when the community was incorporated as a village in 1819. Growth accelerated after completion of the Erie Canal in the 1820s.
Rome's skyline has been dominated by church towers since the 19th century. Much of the historic downtown centered along Dominick Street was demolished under urban renewal programs in the 1960s and 1970s. Several mid-rise apartment buildings are scattered from downtown northward in the vicinity of Black River Boulevard.