10 Places to Visit in Lazio

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Lazio is the region of central Italy that hosts the capital of our state. Often those who visit this region tend to concentrate precisely on Rome and the nearest surroundings, but in reality Lazio has a highly respected landscape, artistic and archaeological heritage, which undoubtedly deserves further study.

From ghost towns to abandoned villages, from castles to fortresses, from places of worship to archaeological sites, but also the vast heritage made up of medieval festivals, festivals, historical re-enactments and food and wine products contribute to making Lazio an unmissable destination. Here are the places to visit absolutely in this beautiful Italian region.



Index

  1. Rome
  2. Tuscia Viterbese
  3. Lake Bracciano
  4. Ciociaria
  5. The Castelli Romani
  6. The Riviera of Ulysses
  7. TiFlights and Villa d'Este
  8. Sanctuary of the Sacro Speco in Subiaco
  9. Latina and the Garden of Ninfa
  10. Pontine Islands
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Rome

Rome is the city that all tourists in the world have on their list of places to visit, not surprisingly since 1980 it has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The capital of Italy offers so much to see, including historical and cultural testimonies, but also very important religious architectures. In fact, in Rome there is the Vatican City, the seat of the Pope, so do not miss a visit to the papal basilicas of Saint Peter, San Giovanni in Luterano and Santa Maria Maggiore, of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, for which it is recommended to purchase the priority entrance ticket.

In Campidoglio square are the Palazzo Senatorio and Capitoline Museums. The Eternal City is also rich in fountains and aqueducts, the most famous being the Trevi Fountain, but that too of the Barcaccia in Spanish Steps. Other unmissable wonders are the Pantheon, the Caracalla's thermal baths, Sant'Angelo castel and especially the Coliseum. For the vastness of archaeological sites Rome is a real open-air museum, one of the oldest parts of the city is the hill palatine.

These are just some of the things to see, for more info here is our smart guide on Rome.



2 - Tuscia Viterbese

The area of ​​Tuscia Viterbese is one of the most evocative of Lazio, scattered with vines, farmhouses and villages to visit.

Among these we recommend Calcata, a medieval village that stands on a spur jutting out into the void e Bolsena, which has been distinguished from afar by the compact appearance given to it by the brown color of the tufaceous rock.

Very famous it is Civita di Bagnoregio it is a village that can only be reached via a pedestrian bridge and is called "the dying city" given the continuous crumbling of the cliff on which it stands.
Then, there is Sutri, the door of Etruria, perched along a spur with which it becomes one. Thanks to its beauty and the commitment to protect its heritage, in 2003 it received the Orange Flag from the Touring Club. Caprarola e montefiascone, The first it is a few kilometers from Lake Vico, while the second is the highest town in the province of Viterbo (almost 600 m).

A Bomarzo instead you will find the Park of the Monsters, embellished with numerous sculptures of mythological animals and divinities. Finally, we recommend that you also visit the natural areas della Tuscia such as the Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve or that of the Saline in Tarquinia.

3 - Lake Bracciano

Lake Bracciano is located north of the city of Rome, is surrounded by the Sabatini Mountains and has an extension that includes it among the 10 largest lakes in Italy, exactly in eighth place. Despite a certain urban aggression, the area still retains sections in which the waters of the lake are particularly rich in fish, thanks also to the fact that a regional law prevents navigation.

One of the best known municipalities that rises on its banks is Bracciano, famous not only for the lake but also for the Orsini Odelaschi Castle overlooking the town from above. Worth a visit on St. Stephen's Cathedral and the civil architecture for the alleys of the town. On the northern coast of the lake is located Trevignano Romano, also here the castle dating back to 1200 is the master. The lakeside promenade with its gardens is also beautiful. Then, there is Anguillara, an important tourist and seaside resort, is also bathed by Lake Martignano shared with the municipalities of Rome and Campagnano di Roma.
Lake Bracciano also falls within the territory of the Bracciano-Martignano Regional Natural Park, which has a particularly rich fauna.



4 - Ciociaria

Ciociaria corresponds to the area south-east of Rome, whose heart is the city of Frosinone.
In this beautiful city you can visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, located on the highest point of the hill on which the historic center stands. The Pietro Tiravanti Palace, of classical architecture, was one of the first in Italy to be built in anti-seismic material and today it houses the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Academy of Fine Arts.

It is part of the province of Frosinone Anagni, known as "the city of the Popes" for being the birthplace of four popes and for having been the papal seat for a long time. Here they are Bonifacio VIII Palace e Barnekow House, bought and renovated by the Swedish painter in the th century.

Two other villages of Ciociaria that deserve the stop are alatri e Arpino, among the oldest in Lazio. Alatri has a significant heritage of monuments such as the Basilica of San Paolo and an imposing wall over two kilometers long. In the land of Ciociaria we advise you to try the typical dishes, here the cuisine is characterized by excellent elaborations of pasta (mostly egg), bread and dry sweets.

5 - The Castelli Romani

By saying Castelli Romani one might think of some monument in Rome instead it is a group of villages in the Alban Hills, mountains of the Lazio Antiappennino which are located south-east of the capital.

The municipalities of the Castelli Romani are very important for the production of wine, so much so that they form the so-called "Road of Roman Wines", paths marked with special signs also indicating the various DOC areas, along which there are wineries and vineyards. Ariccia, Castel Gandolfo, Frascati e Marine. Ariccia is also famous for its gastronomic tourism thanks to the "fraschette", a term that is used to indicate typical restaurants. While Frascati is renowned for its elite cuisine given the presence of several prestigious restaurants at the regional level.
In this area of ​​Lazio there is also the Albano lake, which unfortunately presents serious problems of pollution, for which there is a ban on bathing in various areas. The town of Castel Gandolfo is the closest one and from which a beautiful path that runs along the shores of the lake starts.



6 - The Riviera of Ulysses

The Ulysses Riviera includes a stretch of coast about 100 km long in the province of Latina that alternates beaches of fine sand and rocky promontories that hide unique caves and ravines. Among the main towns of the Riviera we point out Sperlonga, Gaeta e San Felice Circeo.

San Felice Circeo is the first one you meet coming from the north, it is the ideal place to practice water sports. Here it is the submerged Christ, the famous statue considered the most representative symbol of Circeo and visited every year by thousands of diving enthusiasts.

The beaches of Gaeta are characterized by clear and fine sand, clean sea and thick Mediterranean vegetation that surrounds the coast, the Ariana beach for example it is protected between two promontories. On the top of the hill overlooking the port from above stands the Angevin-Aragonese Castle. Finally, there is Sperlonga, which with its whitewashed streets and houses is literally a white town on the sea. A must see there Truglia Tower, which separates the Riviera di Levante and that of Ponente, and the Grotto of Tiberius.

7 - TiFlights and Villa d'Este

TiFlights is a town that boasts even more ancient origins than those of Rome and is located on the slopes of the Tiburtini Mountains. The splendid landscape enjoyed by the city, as if it were a balcony overlooking the Roman countryside, has contributed to making it an attractive place from a tourist point of view.

Do not miss Villa d'Este, a place so fascinating that it is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Particularly interesting are the interiors, thanks to the frescoes, and the garden, the work of Pirro Ligorio. It is really giant and extends from the rear facade of the villa, compared to the current entrance of the building, and is articulated by numerous fountains, caves and water features. To visit it for good you can start from Vialone, the first and largest avenue that extends for about 200 meters, and then continues towards the Rotonda dei Cipressi. Among the most beautiful fountains we mention: the Bicchierone Fountain Fountain of the Organ which features a water mechanism capable of making the sound of an organ heard, the Fontana dell'Ovato Fountain of the Dragons and Avenue of the Hundred Fountains which is illuminated in the evening making everything much more magical.

8 - Sanctuary of the Sacro Speco in Subiaco

The Sacro Speco of Subiaco, also known as Monastery of St. Benedict, was built starting from the eleventh century in memory of the presence as a hermit of San Benedetto, who lived here in the cave for about three years. The monastery rises 650 meters high on Mount Taleo, leaning against the rocky wall in a particularly suggestive way.

Today the sanctuary is composed of two superimposed churches and several chapels, unified by the splendid polychrome mosaic flooring. It houses the Sacred Cave of the hermitage (the Sacro Speco) where the marble statue of the Saint (sculpted in 1657 by Antonio Raggi, a pupil of Bernini), a cross and the symbolic wicker basket where the shepherds put the food are kept.

The upper church it is entirely covered by works by painters of the Sienese school of the fourteenth century and of the Umbrian Marchigiana school, among the frescoes represented there are the Kiss of Judas, the Flagellation, the escape of the Apostles and St. Francis without a halo. In the lower church you can admire paintings with scenes from the life of San Benedetto. Adjacent is the rose garden among whose thorns the Saint threw himself to overcome temptation.

9 - Latina and the Garden of Ninfa

The municipality of Latina is the second most populous city in Lazio, immediately after Rome, and rises in the heart of the Agro Pontino, therefore it presents a largely flat territory.
It is the largest of the founding cities of the fascist era and therefore retains a historic center unique in our country. It develops around two squares, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza della Libertà, where you can see the Civic Tower 32 meters high and the Fountain of the Ball in the first, and other important architectures such as the Palace of the Prefecture in the second.

If you are near Latina, we recommend that you visit the Garden of Ninfa, which is located in the municipality of Cisterna di Latina and is an area of ​​significant uniqueness so as to be recognized as a natural monument by the Italian Republic. It is an English garden begun in 1921 in the disappeared town called Ninfa, which in its heyday, the fourteenth century, was full of houses, churches, roads, bridges and also had two hospitals. Today it has a size of 8 hectares, it houses inside more than a thousand plants and the ruins of ancient churches and old houses, it is also crossed by numerous streams.

10 - Pontine Islands

Another stop to do to discover Lazio are the Pontine Islands, or Ponziane. They are an archipelago off the Gulf of Gaeta, including six major islands belonging to the municipality of Ponza (Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone and Gavi) and two to the municipality of Ventotene (Ventotene and Santo Stefano). They can be reached by ferry from Anzio, Formia, Terracina, San Felice Circeo and also from Naples, Pozzuoli or Ischia.

The island of Ponza is the largest, its beaches are stormed in the summer months and are mostly jagged and rocky, demonstrating the volcanic origin of the island. But in addition to the sea it also preserves an important historical heritage linked to the Bourbon intervention. Among the things not to be missed is the port, Caves of Pilate Chiaia di Luna and the numerous coves scattered throughout the territory, such as Natural pools, Cala Feola e Cala Felce.
L'Ventotene island allows diving enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the beautiful crystal clear waters of the west coast, a protected marine area established in 1997. The points of greatest interest are Punta Pascone, Secca dell'Archetto e Punta dell'Arco.

Plan your trip: how to get there and where to sleep

Obviously the main point of arrival is the city of Rome, served by the airports of Ciampino and Fiumicino (flights from € 29,00), but also well connected by land to the rest of Italy by bus and high-speed trains.

For the classic visit of the capital, the advice is to stay as close as possible to the historic center, or in the Trastevere area, taking advantage of one of the offers we have selected for you from Booking. Accommodations from € 25,00 per night.

If you want to visit the city and its surroundings, base yourself in Rome and take part in the many excursions and day trips, or, if you have your own vehicle, build itineraries on the road, staying in different places from time to time. Other strategic points to base are Viterbo to visit the Tuscia, or the zones of Latina, Bracciano or the Pontine islands, if you want to make a simple one relaxing holiday between the sea or surrounded by nature.


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