Latium is the Latin name for the historic region of Lazio in Italy. Lazio is situated on the central east coast of the Italian Peninsula. Lazio is bordered by regions of Tuscany, Marche and Umbria in the north, the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, with the regions of Abruzzo and Molise to the east. Lazio is one of Italy’s twenty administrative regions and houses the capital city of Italy, Rome. As such, Lazio has played a major role in the history of Italy, Europe and the world. Historically, the region of Lazio is amazingly storied and on visiting, a tourist will find themselves coming face to informational plaque with some of the most famous names, places and structures from many different eras in antiquity. When visiting Lazio, tourists are not confined to historical studies alone. Being situated on the coastline, there is any number of gorgeous, sandy beaches and seaside activities to choose from. Lazio also boasts geographical wonders such as alluvial plains, volcanic peaks and the mighty Tiber River. If nature and history are not your particular brand of touristic activity, Lazio is also a hotbed of European football, the region being home to iconic Italian European club teams, SS Lazio and AS Roma. Fans can tour the stadia, view matches and open training sessions and immerse themselves fully in the club experience.
General Information about Lazio
As mentioned, Lazio is one of the twenty administrative districts in Italy and is located centrally on the peninsula section of the country and on the west coast. Lazio is the second most populated region in Italy, with a population of five million nine hundred thousand (5.9M) inhabitants. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of over one hundred and seventy billion Euros (€170B) Lazio is also rated second in terms of economy in Italy. The capital city of Rome is also the capital of Italy and is the largest city in the country. Rome, in Lazio serves as a hub for public administration, banking, insurance and chiefly, tourism. South of the city, industry such as textiles and manufacturing are the chief economic drivers, while further north and along the coast, fishing and agriculture are the biggest earners. The economy of the region was so strong it actually recorded performance greater than the entire Italian economy during the economic crisis of 2009. This is due to the services sector in Rome in particular, which is highly sophisticated and developed. The entire landmass of Lazio is over seventeen thousand square miles and is comprised of mostly flat to hilly terrain. There are some mountainous regions, located generally to the south. The western coast is most sandy beach, on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Pontine islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea also comprise part of the region of Lazio. The climate in Lazio is Mediterranean on the coastline and continental further inland. The region is served by for air travel by Rome Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino airports and the internal public transport systems, bus and rail, are fairly efficient at getting you to and from the major sights.
History of Lazio
The story of an old a region as Lazio could take many a page to tell. Tourists come from the world over to bask in the historical glory of ages past. Being home to the eternal city, Rome, a visitor will already be well aware they are stepping into what was once the heart of the mighty Roman Empire. The eternal city itself is also home to a very special county, Vatican City. The current and ancient home of the Catholic religion, Vatican City offers a whole narrative all its own in terms of historical value. The story of Lazio is the story of the beginnings of the Roman Empire, Catholicism and the country of Italy itself. The very name, Lazio and Latin root Latium come from the original tribal people of the region, the Latins. On the banks of the mighty Tiber river, it is said that the legendary Romulus and Remus founded Rome, which would come to be the mightiest nation in Italy, eventually giving birth to the Roman empire, which would conquer half of Europe. We are left with a multitude of artifacts, structures and the very culture left behind by the Romans.
So Much to See, Do and Taste in Lazio
The region of Lazio offers the visitor a wide variety of activities to choose from. Coastal terrain, volcanic pools, football stadium, ancient ruins, gourmet food and wine or simple relaxation, Lazio has it all and everything in between. Beginning with the Eternal City and stretching to the coastal areas, you’ll never be bored while on vacation in Lazio. Here we look at just a few of the attractions you might want to sample while visiting the region.
The Eternal City
The capital of the region, the capital of Italy, Caput Mundi- Navel of the world, one of the most storied cities in all the world, known for beauty, history and contributions to the shaping of the modern world, all roads lead to Rome. Being all of these, Rome offers an almost impossible variety of sites, activities and restaurants to entice and attract. A stroll through just the major attractions in Rome means a stroll through the beginnings of western society. Some of the most famous historical and aesthetic sights in the world are located in Rome. Some of these are:
- Piazzas – Some o the most famous and beautiful piazzas in the world are in Rome. The Piazza Venezia and the Piazza Campidoglio spring to mind as must sees, the latter designed by the one and only Michelangelo himself. A piazza is a town square and some of the famous Piazzas in Rome, designed by the top renaissance artists, are a sight to behold
- The Pantheon – Ode to the old gods, thought by some to be birthplace of the new and housing the tomb of the famous Rafael, The Pantheon has been standing for two thousand years. The Pantheon, originally a temple dedicated to the old Greek/Roman gods has since been converted into one of the most important Catholic churches in the world. Sporting the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built and the oculus, which is a direct connection between man and god, the Pantheon is an awe inspiring sight no traveler should miss.
- St. Peter’s Basilica – The Eternal City is awash with churches, but none in the region, or anywhere else in the world come close to the glory, majesty and beauty that is St. Peter’s Basilica. Featuring works from the renaissance greats, Michelangelo and Bernini, the Basilica was completed in 1626 after one hundred and twenty years of construction. The dome of the Basilica is said to be the greatest architectural achievement of Michelangelo, at the ripe old age of seventy two. The Basilica is built on hallowed ground, above the tomb of Saint Peter himself. English language tours are run daily as well as French, Dutch and Italian.
- Colosseum – If you’ve seen the movie “gladiator” starring Russell Crow, you’ve had a movies glimpse of the brutal majesty of the Colosseum. A dedication to the bloody and brutal nature of man, the Colosseum was where the feted gladiators of eras past fought to the death, for the entertainment of the masses. Seating a capacity of a massive two hundred and fifty thousand, the Colosseum has seen marathons of dedication to death and bloodshed, the longest games going for one hundred and seventeen days, consuming the lives of over eight thousand gladiators. Now visitors can bask in its old beauty, and ask the walls for stories of the famed men who spilled buckets and more of blood to satisfy and every more bloodthirsty audience. Advance booking for tours is mandatory as the Colosseum is undergoing some much needed restorations.
These are just a few of the major sights you may want to visit while in Rome, the city sports a multitude more that are equally worth exploration.
Outside of Rome, there is plenty to see and do. The surrounding country side boasts a wide variety of geography, making for a good mix of activity.
- Spas – Lazio is dotted with spas, many of which have their origins in Roman times. Notable of these are the Villa D’Este. There is also the Villa Adriana the ancient home of Emperor Hadrian. Both of these have been designated world heritage sites by UNESCO.
- Seaside – Lazio boasts some amazing Mediterranean beaches, stretching from Gaeta, Sabaudia and the many Islands off the coast. Visitors might be so enamored of the seaside; some never make it inland to see the historical sights of Lazio.
- Lakes and Mountains – Lazio is also home to some small mountain ranges that offer excellent skiing. Those who enjoy the lakeside will be breath taken when they arrive at Lake Bolsena, famous in almost every era of human western development.
Lazio can be linked to a great many of the renaissance artists, poets, thinks and changers from that era. Some of the greatest works of Rafael, Michelangelo, Bernini, Da Vinci and the rest can be viewed in the region. Contemporary famous folk include Francesco Totti of As Roma fame, former captain of Italian national football team.
Food of The Region
The Tastes of Lazio are a gustatory delight. Meals often feature first second and third dishes and include rich cheeses, succulent lamb and fresh vegetables. Strong flavors abound and you will want to take full part in the edible portions of your vacation.
Customized Vacations, Italy – Why Bellarome Italian Vacations
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Lazio, See You There!
With the capital of tourism and the very capital of the country itself based in Lazio, visitors can expect to find numerous means of accommodation to suit any budget. Services are available to suit any need and transport is not a hassle. You will be absolutely enamored of the region when you visit, so book your trip today.