The Symphony in C "Roma" is the second of Georges Bizet's symphonies. Unlike his first symphony, also in C major, which was written quickly at the age of 17, Roma was written over an eleven-year span, between the ages of 22 and 33 (he died at age 36). Bizet was never fully satisfied with it, subjecting it to a number of revisions, but died before finishing his definitive version. All four movements were performed in his lifetime, but never all on the same occasion. The full symphony in its latest revision was premiered in 1875, after his death. It is perhaps because of Bizet's dissatisfaction that the work is often said to be "unfinished". However, in the form in which it exists today, it is a complete work and is fully scored. It has been recorded a number of times but is not often heard on the concert platform.
Bizet won the Prix de Rome in 1857, which required him to spend the following two years studying free of charge at the French Academy in Rome, followed by a year studying in Germany. He never went to Germany, but stayed in Rome until July 1860. Rather than returning to Paris straight away, he did some touring through Italy, seeing places he had not visited in his earlier travels in 1858 and 1859. In Rimini he first planned a symphony with each of the four movements dedicated to a different Italian city – Rome (opening movement), Venice (Andante), Florence (Scherzo) and Naples (finale). He may have made some early sketches at this time. When he got to Venice he learned that his mother was seriously ill, so he returned home immediately.
The series features a sprawling ensemble cast of characters, many of whom are based on real figures from historical records, but the lead protagonists are ultimately two soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, who find their lives intertwined with key historical events. Rome was a ratings success for HBO and the BBC. The series received much media attention from the start, and was honored with numerous awards and nominations in its two-series run. Co-creator Heller stated in December 2008 that a Rome movie was in development, but as of early 2015 no further production had been initiated. The series was filmed in various locations, but most notably in the Cinecittà studios in Italy.