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Lazio Travel Guide – Culture of Lazio Italy

Although Lazio is comprised of much more than Italy’s capital city of Rome, it is no surprise that the culture of the region is heavily influenced by this Caput Mundi. As the world leader for generations, the Roman Empire’s cultural influences have been visible throughout Lazio’s history in the form of architecture, art, cuisine, politics, and customs. Nearly every facet of Lazio’s infrastructure features some shades of Roman influence. In fact, the dialect of Lazio – one of the most well-known and recognizable dialects of Italy – is categorized as Roman and has influenced pop culture such as film, TV, and literature for decades.

In addition, the culture of Lazio is highly impacted by the presence of the Papal State. With Vatican City – home of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church – being in Lazio, the beliefs and power of the Vatican have influenced nearly every historic and political decision made for the region.

Another influence of culture in Lazio is its top of the line universities. La Sapienza and Tor Vergata, universities located in Rome, are widely considered to be some of the best academic institutions in Italy and impact the culture of the region through higher education.

ART

The region of Lazio is known for Rome, and Rome is known for its vast collection of artistic masterpieces, outstanding museums, and historic galleries. From Villa Borghese’s impressive statue collection to the legendary Sistine Chapel, the sheer number of artistic works to be seen in Rome is boggling. So many of the world’s greatest artists – Michelangelo, Raphael, and Caravaggio just to name of few – have historic pieces to be seen in Rome. Travelers can enjoy seeing works by artists such as these while walking the massive Vatican Museums or the iconic Villa Borghese.

Outside of Rome, Lazio boasts a variety of notable museums, art collections, and galleries. A few of the best to enjoy throughout Lazio include the Civic Museum in Rieti, the Museum of Colle Duomo in Viterbo, and the Civic Gallery in Latina, which features a wide range of modern and contemporary art.

ARCHITECTURE

When one thinks of architecture in Italy, Rome undoubtedly comes to mind. Some of the world’s most famous architectural masterpieces call Lazio home. Stunning famous structures such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum as well as lesser known, but no less amazing, buildings such as Castel Gandolfo, Ponte Sant’Angelo, the Altare Della Patria, San Gionvanni in Laterano, and so many more make Rome an incredible place to view outstanding architecture.

Though travelers looking to see one of a kind, historic architecture should not limit themselves to Rome alone. All throughout Lazio are amazing architectural finds. In Tivoli, visit the Villa D’Este and Villa Adriana. In Viterbo, see the past residence of the Popes – Palazzo dei Papi. From the abbey of Montecassino to the town of Sperlonga, there are so many incredible and inspiring pieces of architecture to discover in Lazio.

Not only does Lazio contain a great deal of architecture for travelers to view, but the region itself has birthed several important architects. One of the most well-known is Massimiliano Fuskas. As the architect of many important buildings throughout Milan, Rome, Asia, and the rest of Europe, Fuskas is one of the region’s most important architects.

LITERATURE

Be it the region’s history, value of education, or deep appreciation for art, Lazio happens to be a top area of Italy when it comes to literature.  As one of the world’s artistic epicenters, it is no surprise that Rome has historically been regarded as one of the most incredible locales for poets, writers, authors, and more. Even today, many artists of literature find Rome to be a place of inspiration.

Some writers who have hailed from Lazio include Carlo Cassola, Ida Magli, Julius Evola, Elsa Morante, and Alberto Moravia. All of these incredible individuals influenced readers throughout the world through their novels, poems, think pieces, essays, and more.

MUSIC

A region known for its artistic contributions to the world, of course Lazio is the home of many impactful musicians.

Some of the many musicians who called Lazio home include Lucio Battisti, Antonello Venditti, Renato Zero, Francesco De Gregori, and Eros Ramazzotti – all influential singers and songwriters. In addition, Oscar winner Ennio Morricone – known for creating the soundtracks to cult classic films of the 90’s – and Claudio Villa – one of Italy’s greatest operatic singers and four-time winner of the Festival of Sanremo – were both born in Lazio.

MOVIES AND CINEMA

A large aspect of the culture in Lazio is rooted in movies and cinema. Not only because the main attraction of Lazio – Rome – has been featured as the backdrop to countless important blockbusters, but also because the nearby “town” of Cinecitta serves as the home for a handful of important movie studios. With this culture of film as an essential part of Lazio, there are many actors, directors, and filmmakers who were born in Lazio or now call the region home that make a massive impact on the global cinema scene.

In terms of actors and actresses, Lazio is the home of such stars as Silvana Mangano (often referred to as the “Italian Rita Hayworth”), Oscar winner Anna Magnani, Sabrina Ferilli, and Alberto Sordi. One of the most important Italian actors and two-time Golden Globe winner, Marcello Mastroianni, hails from Frosinone, a nearby province of Rome.

As for directors and filmmakers, Lazio is the birthplace of the incomparable Sergio Leone, the creator of the popular Spaghetti western genre. Some of his most famous films include “Once Upon a Time in the West” and the “Dollars Trilogy.” Other notable directors and filmmakers from Lazio include Gabriele Muccino (“The Pursuit of Happyness”), Carlo Verdone, Mario Monicelli, Dario Argento, Roberto Rossellini, and four-time Academy Award winner Vittorio De Sica.