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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Region of Italy  —

Country Italy
Capital Rome
 - President Esterino Montino (Democratic Party (Italy))
 - Total 17,208 km2 (6,644 sq mi)
Population (2009-08)
 - Total 5,632,221
 Density 327.3/km2 (847.7/sq mi)
Citizenship [1]
 - Italian 4,655,439 (82.7%)
 - Foreign 976,782 (17.3%)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal € 160.5 billion (2006)

Lazio (pronounced [ˈlattsjo], Latin: Latium, English: Latium)[2] is a region of west central Italy, bordered by Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche to the north, Abruzzo and Molise to the east, Campania to the south, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. It is the region of Rome, capital of Italy.

Lazio is classified as being in the Centre territorial unit of Italy by the European Union, with a code of ITE.



Types of terrain found in Lazio.
The National Park of Circeo, part of the coastal plain.

Lazio contains 4,491 km2 (1,734 sq mi) of mountains (montagna), 9,291 km2 (3,587 sq mi) of hills (collina) and 3,424 km2 (1,322 sq mi) of plains (pianura). The term plains in this context refers to coastal land of mean elevation zero, some a few feet above and some a few feet below sea level. Inland of the coastal plains in the north is a landform termed the hills, or colli, which are intermediate to the mountains. Generally they are subsumed under the name of the Roman Campagna. It does not exist in the south. Inland of the hills or the coastal zone are the mountains.

Coastal plain

The coast of Lazio is low-lying with sandy beaches, punctuated by the headlands of Circeo (541 m) and Gaeta (171 m). The Pontine Islands, which are part of Latium, lie opposite the southern coast. Behind the coastal strip, to the north are found: the Maremma Laziale (the continuation of Tuscan Maremma), interrupted at Civitavecchia by the Tolfa Mountains (616 m), in the centre by the Roman Campagna and to the south by Agro Pontino and its continuation south of Terracina, the South Pontino. This area, once swampy and malarial, was reclaimed over the centuries for population and agriculturalization.


The Latium Preapennines, marked by the Tiber valley and the Liri with the Sacco tributary, includes on the right of the Tiber, three groups of mountains of volcanic origin: the Volsini, Cimini and Sabatini, whose principal craters are occupied by the Bolsena, Vico and Bracciano lakes. To the south of the Tiber other mountain groups form part of the Preapennines: the Alban Hills, also of volcanic origin, and the calcareous Lepini, Ausoni and Aurunci Mountains. The Latium Apennines are part of the Abruzzo Apennines: the Reatini Mountains with Terminillo (2,213 m), Mounts Sabini, Prenestini, Simbruini and Ernici which continue east of the Liri into the Mainarde Mountains. The highest peak is Gorzano Mount (2,458 m) on the border with Abruzzo.


Coordinates: 41°54′N 12°43′E / 41.9°N 12.717°E / 41.9; 12.717


The Appian Way (Via Appia), a road connecting the city of Rome to the southern parts of Italy, remains usable even today.

The Italian word Lazio descends from the Latin word Latium. The name of the region also survives in the tribal designation of the ancient population of Latins, Latini in the Latin language spoken by them and passed on to the city-state of Ancient Rome. Although the demography of ancient Rome was multi-ethnic, including, for example, Etruscans and other Italics besides the Latini, the latter were the dominant constituent. In Roman mythology, the tribe of the Latini took their name from king Latinus. Apart from the mythical derivation of Latium given by the ancients as the place where Jupiter "lay hid" from his father seeking to kill him, a major modern etymology is that Latium comes from the Latin word "latus", meaning "wide", expressing the idea of "flat land" meaning the Roman Campagna. Much of Latium is in fact flat or rolling. The lands originally inhabited by the Latini were extended into the territories of the Samnites, the Marsi, the Hernici, the Aequi, the Aurunci and the Volsci, all surrounding Italic tribes. This larger territory was still called Latium, but it was divided into Latium adiectum or Latium Novum, the added lands or New Latium, and Latium Vetus, or Old Latium, the older, smaller region.

The emperor Augustus officially united all of present-day Italy into a single geo-political entity, Italia, dividing it into eleven regions. Latium - together with the present region of Campania immediately to the southeast of Latium and the seat of Naples - became Region I.

After the Gothic War (535-554) and the Byzantine conquest, this region regained its freedom, because the "Roman Duchy" became the property of the Eastern Emperor. However the long wars against the barbarian Longobards weakened the region, which was seized by the Roman Bishop who already had several properties in those territories.

The strengthening of the religious and ecclesiastical aristocracy led to continuous power struggles between lords and the Roman bishop until the middle of the XVI century. Innocent III tried to strengthen his own territorial power, wishing to assert his authority in the provincial administrations of Tuscia, Campagna and Marittima through the Church's representatives, in order to reduce the power of the Colonna family. Other popes tried to do the same.

During the period when the papacy resided in Avignon, France (1309–1377), the feudal lords' power increased due to the absence of the Pope from Rome. Small communes, and Rome above all, opposed the lords' increasing power, and with Cola di Rienzo, they tried to present themselves as antagonists of the ecclesiastical power. However, between 1353 and 1367, the papacy regained control of Latium and the rest of the Papal States.

From the middle of the 16th century, the papacy politically unified Latium with the Papal States[citation needed], so that these territories became provincial administrations of St. Peter's estate; governors in Viterbo, in Marittima and Campagna, and in Frosinone administered them for the papacy.

After the short-lived Roman Republic and the region's annexation to France, by Napoleon I, Latium became again part of the Papal States. In 1870 when the French troops abandoned Rome, General Cadorna entered the pontifical territory, occupying Rome on 20 September, and Latium was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy.


Agriculture, crafts, animal husbandry and fishery are the main traditional sources of income. Agriculture is characterized by the cultivation of wine grapes, fruit, vegetables and olives.

Industrial development in Lazio is limited to the areas south of Rome. Communications have influenced the position of industry, favouring the areas with the best links to Rome and those near the Autostrada del Sole (motorway), especially around Frosinone. Firms are often small to medium in size and operate in the building and building materials (Rome, Civitavecchia), paper (Sora), petrochemical (Gaeta, Rome), textile (Frosinone), engineering (Rieti, Anagni), automobile (Cassino), electronic and electrotechnical (Viterbo) sectors.

Approximately 73% of the working population are employed in the services sector; this is a considerable proportion, but is justified by the presence of Rome, which is the core of public administration, banking, tourism, insurance and other sectors. Many national and multinational corporations, public and private, have their headquarters in Rome (ENI, Enel, Finmeccanica, Alitalia, RAI).


Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1861 356,000
1871 1,173,000 229.5%
1881 1,257,000 7.2%
1901 1,586,000 26.2%
1911 1,771,000 11.7%
1921 1,997,000 12.8%
1931 2,349,000 17.6%
1936 2,655,000 13.0%
1951 3,341,000 25.8%
1961 3,959,000 18.5%
1971 4,689,000 18.4%
1981 5,002,000 6.7%
1991 5,140,000 2.8%
2001 5,112,000 −0.5%
2008 (Est.) 5,611,000 9.8%
Source: ISTAT 2001

The population density ranges from 765 inhabitants per km2 in the province of Rome to less than 60 inhabitants per km2 in the province of Rieti (2008 est.). The overall population density in the region of Lazio is of 326 inhabitants per km2, which is the third highest amongst the Italian regions after Campania and Lombardia. As of 2006, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 275,065 foreign-born immigrants live in Lazio, equal to 5.2% of the total regional population.

Government and politics

Rome is center-left politically oriented by tradition, while the rest of Lazio is center-right oriented. In the 2008 general election, Lazio gave 44.2% of its vote to the centre-right coalition, while the centre-left block took 41.4% of vote.

Administrative divisions

Lazio is divided into five provinces:

Latium Provinces.png
Province Area (km²) Population Density
Province of Frosinone 3,244 496,545 153.1
Province of Latina 2,251 543,844 241.4
Province of Rieti 2,749 158,545 57.7
Province of Rome 5,352 4,097,085 765.5
Province of Viterbo 3,612 314,690 87.1

See also



  1. ^ "Demography in Figures". Istituto nazionale di statistics (ISTAT). 
  2. ^ "Latium". Merriam-Webster OnLine. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Lazio is a central region of Italy. Rome is more or less in the middle of the region but Lazio (Latium) has numerous other attractions and would well repay a visit even if Rome did not exist. The region has many fascinating cities, several lakes, some beautiful scenery, good opportunities for country and hill walks and a coastline that is almost entirely beach, which is enhanced by hundreds of excellent fish restaurants. Communications are good, particularly going north-south.

Fountain at Villa D'Este, Tivoli
Fountain at Villa D'Este, Tivoli
Palace of the Popes at Viterbo
Palace of the Popes at Viterbo
The Roman amphitheatre at Sutri, cut out of rock.
The Roman amphitheatre at Sutri, cut out of rock.
Etruscan tomb (British Museum)
Etruscan tomb (British Museum)

The area to the northeast of Rome is made up of the province of Viterbo, and part of the province of Rome. The main city is Viterbo, about 100km to the north of Rome, which was the favourite residence of the Popes when they faced difficulty in exercising their authority over Rome. North of Rome was a center of the Etruscan civilization before its defeat by the Romans. Many Etruscan sites remain, in particular the tombs at Cerveteri, Tarquinia and, to a lesser extent, Sutri, the ruins at Veio, which was at one time the richest Etruscan city, and excellent museums at Vulci, Tarquinia, and Villa Giulia in Rome.

To the northeast of Rome are the Sabine Hills, whose women were famously raped (abducted) by the Romans when invited to a festival in Rome by Romulus. Further to the northeast in Rieti province is the attractive town of Rieti of interest to American basketball fans as the childhood home of Kobe Bryant.

East of Rome is Tivoli, with the garden of fountains at the Villa D’ Este and the extensive and well preserved grounds of Hadrian’s Villa. To the east and southeast are two fascinating monasteries. At Subiaco St. Benedict founded the Benedictine order, while Monte Cassino was another important monastery but these days is best known as the site of a major World War II battle. South of Rome are the fishing port of Anzio, also a major WW2 site, and the Castelli Romani, with Castel Gandolfo, the summer home of the Popes, and Frascati, famous for its wine. The two southern provinces are Frosinone and Latina, which combine agriculture and light industry. Interesting places to visit include the coastal towns of Gaeta and Sperlonga as well as Anagni, former home of the Popes, and Fiuggi, a spa town.

  • Civitavecchia[1], the port of Rome, is the point of arrival and departure of hundreds of ships, cruises, ferries travelling all around the Mediterranean. From here it is possible to reach Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Spain, France, some other small islands, and even north Africa. A good transportation system links the port to the Eternal City.
  • By car the whole of Lazio is easily accessible, via the A90 ring road (or GRA), from Rome’s airports at Fiumicino and Ciampino (see Rome for details).
  • The main A1 toll highway (Autostrada) from Florence to Naples provides good north-south communications. The A24 heads east from Rome to the mountains of the Abruzzo. Other important highways in northern Lazio are the A12, which follows the coast north in the direction of Pisa in Tuscany and the Cassia (and Cassia bis), which is the main road to Viterbo. Southern Lazio is served by the Pontina, which can get very crowded on summer weekends.
  • There is a good rail network. Most routes are north-south via Rome rather than east-west. Bus services are also available, if infrequent.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From Latin Latium

Proper noun

Lazio m.

  1. Latium.

Related terms

Simple English

Flag Coat of arms
[[Image:|120px|border]] [[Image:|75px|Coat of arms of Lazio]]
File:Regione Lazio
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Country Italy
Capital Rome
President Piero Marrazzo (Democratic Party)
Basic statistics
Area  17,208 km² (6,644 sq mi)
(Ranked 9th, 5.7 %)
Population 5,561,017 (12/2007)
(Ranked 3rd, 9.3 %)
 - Density 323 /km² (837 /sq mi)
Other information
GDP/ Nominal € 160.5 billion (2006)

Lazio or Latium is a region in the center of Italy. The capital is Rome. The population was 5,269,972 in 2005.


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