Information and Tourism
You can be forgiven if you've never heard of Lazio. This is a region of Italy that lies very much in the shadows of its largest city, which happens to be Rome.
Rome in a weekend sounds like a good plan, until you consider the sheer number of ancient sights to be covered. It is tempting to start with the Colosseum, surely the most iconic of Rome's landmarks. Far better, though, to first head up either the Colle Oppio (Oppian Hill) or the Colle Palatino (Palatine Hill), both of which are perfect for stunning views over Lazio's principal city. Then there are the Imperial Forums, buried from sight when Mussolini carried out a spot of town planning in the 1930s and since unveiled to the public eye.
Moving on in time is the Villa Borghese, with its 17th-century flowerbeds. Of course, somewhere along the line you have to stop for pizza, and where better than the Piazza Navona, where you can also stop to admire an ornate palace or two, or Bernini's much-lauded Fountain of the Four Rivers. Or, of course, you could just wander the streets of this remarkable city and soak up the Roman atmosphere, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of this living history lesson.
Modern-day travellers visiting this part of Lazio can follow the ancient Via Flaminia from the centre of Rome all the way to the Adriatic Coast. This well-trodden route takes in Lazio's rich heritage and landscape, including the Treja Valley, a rugged sort of place with hills and rocky outcrops, as well as numerous traces of ancient remains. Heading north, there is the medieval town of Civita Castellana, with its necropolis-dotted landscape.
Further inland, in the east of the region, are the Sabina Mountains, carpeted by green olive groves, and dotted by clear-watered lakes and mountain peaks. Mount Terminillo, better known as the 'Mountain of Rome', just happens to be one of the top winter ski resorts in this part of Italy.
Lazio's long stretch of coastline includes the Roman Riviera, which comes complete with beaches that are suitably sandy and islands that are truly charming.
Lazio Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Italy
- Main administrative centre: Rome
- Population: approximately 5.9 million
- Language: Italian
- Area: 6,660 square miles / 17,250 square kilometres
WORLD GUIDES TO LAZIO
World Guide to Rome, Italy
If you were to sum up the city of Rome in two words, they would be 'busy' and'historic'. This beautiful city is over 2,700 years old and has become one of the most popular cities in the world. Rome is simply full of history.
Map of Italy