An Introduction to Lazio, Italy
Lazio is a region nestled between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apennines. The beauties of the region are usually overlooked by tourists who prefer to visit its famous capital city, Rome. However, Lazio’s territory is gorgeous thanks to volcanic lakes, mountains, Medieval towns built on the rocks, and vineyards. Besides historical and cultural sites, Lazio offers plenty of outdoor opportunities like skiing, swimming, and water sports on lakes and the sea, making it the perfect destination for everyone.
Must See & Do in Lazio
If there is one place worth visiting in Lazio, that is Rome. The city is worldwide famous for a reason: it is a unique open-air museum that shows the vestiges of Italy’s great past. The Colosseum might be the most well-known monument in the world, the symbol of Italy, but Rome has so much more to offer. Monuments, archeological sites, artworks, museums, and churches from different periods in time, and the delicious food, make Rome an absolute must-see.
Just south of Rome there are the beautiful Castelli Romani, a series of hill towns that surround two volcanic crater lakes, Lago di Nemi and Lago di Albano. Romans have been escaping to these charming towns for millennia: stunning villas, wine production, and lake activities make the Castelli Romani a fantastic area to visit.
Located 23 kilometers from Rome, there is Ostia Antica, the ancient port city of the capital. The archeological sites in Ostia Antica are among the best preserved in the world.
The city of Tivoli was the vacation spot of wealthy Romans, and the place is still full of replicas of famous Greek and Egyptian artworks, such as statues and mosaics. Villa Adriana, built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, and Villa d’Este, a masterpiece of the Renaissance, are just incredible.
The Baths of Bagnaccio represent an unmissable stop in Lazio. These thermal waters of volcanic origin and the white clay pools will make your holiday just perfect.
Another place to enjoy Lazio’s nature is the Falls of Monte Gelato. These waterfalls are so spectacular that they have been the scenery of important film productions!
The island of Ponza is the perfect spot to relax in Lazio. Crystal-clear waters and colorful houses make the island the perfect beach escape for your trip to Lazio.
If you are looking for a more adventurous and active holiday, then Bolsena is for you. Bolsena is located at the northern end of Lazio on the river Bolsena: the town and its surroundings are perfect for those who love hiking, trekking, and swimming.
Secret Gems of Lazio
Lazio hides one of the most peculiar places that you will find in Italy, the Sacred Wood of Barozzi. Also called “Parco dei Mostri” (Monsters Park), this forest park in the province of Viterbo will make you feel like you are on a fantasy movie set. The wonderful natural landscape has been transformed by the creation of basalt sculptures portraying legendary creatures, deities, and animals. Duke Pier Francesco Orsini commissioned this astonishing park in honor of his wife, Giulia Farnese.
The most famous statue is the head of the Ogre, which symbolizes the entrance of the Underworld. The inside of the Ogre’s mouth looks like a tavern, with stone tables and benches.
The enchanting Sacred Wood is one of Lazio’s secret gems, and it is a must-see during your vacation in the region, whether you are traveling alone, with your friends, or with your family.
Food & Drink of Lazio
Lazio’s cuisine is home-style, where traditional dishes are made of poor primary products reach in taste.
Regarding regional cooking, the city of Rome trumps the rest of the area with its famous pasta dishes. Worldwide famous Carbonara and Cacio e Pepe don’t need any presentation. Another typical Roman pasta dish is Gricia, made with only three ingredients: guanciale (don’t call it bacon!), black pepper, and pecorino cheese. Similar is the recipe of another Lazio’s favorite, Amatriciana, from the gastronomic tradition of Amatrice, a small town in the province of Rieti.
A staple of Lazio’s cuisine is fried foods. Supplì is one of these. This typical street food is prepared with rice seasoned with meat sauce and pecorino cheese, rolled with a strip of mozzarella inside, and then passed in breadcrumbs and fried.
You will find meat in most of Lazio’s main dishes, such as Porchetta and Saltimbocca alla Romana. But the perfect example of the bold flavors of Lazio’s cuisine is Coda alla Vaccinara, a stew made of oxtail braised in a tomato and red wine sauce.
For dessert, you need to try Amaretti cookies made with almonds.