Region Lazio (Latium)

Coat of arms In the heart of Italy and along the Thyrrhenian Sea, Lazio is the center of the Italian political life thanks to the presence of the Italian government and Parliament.
It is also the center of the Catholic world, the Vatican State, as well as a favorite destination of tourists for the innumerable monuments of the Roman civilization and, along the Northern border with Tuscany, of the Etruscan civilization.

The Provinces of Lazio


The Territory

Apart from the area of Rome, the rest of the territory is mostly plain and hills, with mountains in the area of Rieti such as Monte Terminillo (2213 m), and in the north an area of lower mountains of volcanic origins, in whose craters many beautiful lakes took origin. More than half of the population of the whole region live in or around Rome.

History - Antiquity

Ancient Latium was inhabited by some native populations called Latini, Aernici, Aequi, Aurunci and Volsci. The legend of the origins of Rome, which cannot be established as founded or not, as told in many poems of ancient Rome and in Virgil's Aeneid, tells of a group of refugees from the city of Troy, destroyed by the Greeks around the 10th century BC, who, led by Aeneas, reached the coast of Lazio, where their leader married the daughter of the local king.

History begins in the 8th century BC with the foundation of the city of Rome, which was at first a monarchy until under the seventh king there was a war with the Etruscans and a republic ruled by two consuls and a senate was established. In the centuries the Romans, a people of soldiers, law-makers and rulers, gradually conquered the whole of Italy, then started their expansion in the Mediterranean and towards north in central Europe as far as the British Isles. The republic gave way to an Empire in the first century BC, and the first - and one of the greatest - Emperors, Augustus, reorganized the Empire in regions, so that Lazio and Campania were the Prima Regio.

History - the Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, in the war against the Goths (535-553) the Eastern, or Byzantine, Roman Empire reclaimed Lazio for a period, then had to abandon the region to defend the Adriatic possessions against the Lombards. It was in that period that the only authority left in Lazio was the bishop of Rome, who strengthened the political power of the church in the area. After centuries of fighting against local lords, the State of the Church gained finally a total supremacy on Lazio and surrounding territories (Umbria and Marche).

Modern History

In the 19th century, when a strong movement for unity swept the Italian nation, patriots in the many Italian states looked at Rome as their future capital. In 1860 the Second War of Independence united many territories of the former State of the Church to the newborn Italian Kingdom, but Rome was taken only 1n 1870, after the Third War of Independence.

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Provinces of Lazio
Lazio region
Surnames in the Provinces of Lazio