Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with distinctive characteristics. Here, you’ll get an overview of Lazio to get you started on planning a Lazio trip.

Most travelers in Italy visit the region of Lazio, even if they don’t know it – it’s the one that includes Rome. There is, however, much more to this big region than simply the Eternal City.

Rome is the main entry point for many travelers in Italy, and a justified must-see on an Italy itinerary. With enough time, though, there are some interesting spots in Lazio well off the usual tourist trail. There are ancient ruins outside central Rome (some of which aren’t even ancient Roman), charming hill towns, World War II sites, beautiful lakes, and sandy beaches awaiting intrepid explorers.

Lazio Basics

  • The Italian name for Lazio is the same as the English, and it’s pronounced LAHT|zee|oh. Note that some English texts translate the name to its Latin root, which is Latium, but it’s most often simply Lazio in both languages.
  • The demonym for people or things from Lazio is laziale (singular) or laziali (plural). This is one of the few instances in which the masculine and feminine are the same.
  • The capital of Lazio also happens to be the national capital – Rome.
  • Lazio is in central Italy and shares borders with the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche, Abruzzo, and Molise, as well as the Tyrrhenian Sea. The smallest city-state in the world, Vatican City, is entirely within the borders of the city of Rome.
  • There are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lazio – the historic center of Rome (which includes Vatican City), the Villa d’Este in Tivoli, the Villa Adriana in Tivoli, and the Etruscan necropolises in Cerveteri and Tarquinia.

Lazio Travel Tips

creative commons graphic by Otourly, modified by me

creative commons graphic by Otourly, modified by me

When I think of Italy as a boot, it’s a thigh-high boot – which makes Lazio sort of the national knee (and a little bit of the shin). The landscape goes from the long coastline through plains and hills into the mountains that form the peninsula’s backbone.

While much of the region may not be familiar to visitors, the fact that Rome is in Lazio means that it’s a region fairly well-served by public transportation. Rome’s Termini station is the largest train station in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, connected to high-speed rail lines. Most other parts of Lazio are served by trains or regional buses, though if you want to explore the more wild parts of the region you’ll need to rent a car to get there.

Rome is a popular tourist destination year-round, though there is something of a low season in the winter. The beaches of Lazio are at their peak of popularity in the summer, and the mountains can be a draw in all seasons for hiking or skiing. Still, there are parts of Lazio that are usually completely off the well-touristed path if you’re willing to look for them.

Guided Tours in Lazio

These are affiliate links, which means I get a little something if you book one of these tours – but it won’t cost you anything extra.

Further Reading on Lazio:

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