Lazio (also known as Latium) is a hilly region with a varied landscape in central Italy.
Bordered by the Apennine Mountains to the east and the Tyrrhenian coast to the west, Lazio is filled with woods and pastures, hills and valleys, rivers and lakes, and as many as twenty-five nature parks and reserves. Much of Lazio's landscape was formed by the eruption of four volcanoes that showered the area with lava. Lakes formed in the craters, and the soil, rendered fertile by the lava, nourished vines, olives, fruit, and nut trees. The volcanic activity also left Lazio with hot springs, notably around Tivoli, Viterbo, and the world-class spa town, Fiuggi.
An interesting and evocative region, you'll discover volcanic lakes and hills, ruins, Rome (Roma), Vatican City, castles, Etruscan towns, tombs, and ruins, and much more. Each corner of Lazio is a milestone of history. Monuments, consular roads, aqueducts, imperial villas on various promontories or half-submerged in the sea are testimony of its past. Thousands of years of civilization make this region an incredible mantle of history.
Lazio is the center of Italy because Roma, the Eternal City, is the capital of Italy attracting visitors from all over the world to see its Roman ruins, Renaissance squares, museums, piazzas, fountains, and baroque churches. At one time, Roma was the capital of the largest empires in the history of the world. It was said that the empire of Roma was so large, that the sun never set on this empire because it stretched from Europe all the way through Persia, Asia, Africa, and beyond!
North of the Roma is the former homeland of the mysterious Etruscans, whose spiritual depth is revealed in their fine and evocative necropolis. Visit the Vulci ruins where you can view the best examples of Etruscan bronzes. You'll want to visit Tarquinia, whose archeological museum is second to none. The entire life span of the Etruscans is represented in the frescoes of the most splendid necropolis this mysterious people ever built. Or, explore their stone tumuli, usually located in idyllic forests or deserted valleys.
The hill towns of Lazio are unique and pretty, even surprising. And close to Roma, visit the Alban Hills, known as the "Castelli Romani", very chic, lush countryside, perfect! Not to miss are the Lakes of Bolsena, Vico, Bracciano, and Albano; or, you may choose to visit one of Italy's most glittering undiscovered gems, Ponza and the Pontine Isles.
Between Ostia and Roma there is the extraordinary Ostia Antica, an entire city preserved as it was in Roman times with streets, palaces, buildings, shops, stadiums, temples, and statues. Toward the south, beside the forest of Castelporziano, you can see the ruins of Laurentum, the first capital of Lazio and kingdom of the mythical King Latino.
There's just so much to see and do in Lazio. Whether you choose to explore the cultural treasures history has to offer, or succumb to relaxation offered by a vast variety of picturesque scenery and historic cities, a visit to Lazio is a must.