The Region of Lazio
Surface: 17.227 km2
Medium temperatures for the city of Rome: 9° C January, 25° C July
Provinces of Lazio: Rome, Frosinone, Latina, Rieti, Viterbo.
Yearly precipitations: 600-700 mm
Density of inhabitants per km sq: 302
Per capita income: 13.400 Euro
Region: Ordinary Statute
Lazio is like an oyster shell with a pearl inside.
The region contains Rome, but is not identified with a capital from which it often differs considerably for historical and natural reasons. The capital has remains that bear witness to millennia of history and yet, everywhere in Lazio there is something to recall.
Viterbo, Tarquinia, Tuscania and Cerveteri speak of the Etruscan civilisation.
And art is everywhere, too: the treasures in Montecassino abbey, the Villas of Tivoli and Ostia Antica. But, particularly in Rome, universally known for its monuments of every age: from the Roman Forums to its Renaissance and Baroque palaces, its museums and piazzas, its obelisks and fountains. There is much to see in the environs of the city: the Alban Hills, known as the "Castelli Romani" and the Lakes of Bolsena, Vico, Bracciano and Albano; seaside resorts include Santa Marinella, Anzio, Nettuno, Sabaudia, Terracina, Sperlongaand the Pontine Isles.
Typical dishes include lamb, artichokes and spaghetti alla carbonara. Apart form the famous "Castelli" wines, there is also Montefiascone's "Est! Est! Est!)
Fisical characteristics of the Region of Lazio
Mountains (26.1%) and hills (53.9%) prevail over the flatlands and lowlands.
Apennine's region consists in massifs of plantless hills and barren slopes with numerous peaks higher than 2.000 meters.
Some of them would be Terminillo (2.213 m), and Monte Gonzano (2.455 m).
Worth of mentioning would be Mounts Carsolani, Mounts Simbruini, Ernici, Meta and the massif of Mainarde.
Western part of the Region of Lazio consists in a relief shaped by the higher hills (1.000-2.000 m).
Region of Lazio contains fertile parts of land (medium height is 600-700 m) making part of the hills of volcanic origin whose highest peaks are occupied by craters of extinct volcanoes that contain lakes. Alban Hills, for example, contain Alban Lake and the lake of Nemi, Monti Volsini the lake of Bolsena, Monti Sabatini the lake of Bracciano, Monti Cimini the lake of Vico.
The other chain of higher hills situated more towards east and south are Monti Aurunci, Monti Ausoni and Monti Lepini.
The Coast is mostly flat and only at some points interrupted by ledges and ridges such as in the cases of Mount Circeo and the promontory of Gaeta that delimits the gulf of Gaeta.
Only recently the flat tracts of swampy land were completely drained, such as Maremma Laziale (marine swamp), the extension of the Tuscan Maremma.
The river Tiber (405 km) shapes the principal fluvial axis of the region by one-half of its length that exactly in that tract of its flow significantly augments the amount of water, before finally meeting the Tyrrhenian Sea in a shape of a little delta.
The river Sacco (87 km) is a principal tributary of the river Liri and they together offer their water to the southern part of the region.
Other rivers would be Aniene with its cascades near the city of Tivoli and Garigliano formed by the rivers Liri and Sacco.
Yet, the hydrographical structure of the Region of Lazio is characterized mostly by its lakes of volcanic origin, among which is to be mentioned the lake of Bolsena (114.5 km sq).
Agricultural activities and animal farming
In the Region of Lazio prevails extensive cereal growing together with greenhouse horticulture.
Cultivation of vine is characteristic for the zone of Colli Albani that is famous after its aromatic white wines.
Intensive greenhouse truck farming is characteristic for the zone of Agro Pontino.
Very important is sheep farming as well as the piggery and poultry farming and the breeding of buffalos.
Along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea prevails the maritime climate with winter medium temperature 9° C and summer medium temperature 23° C (25° C in Rome), while towards the Apennines winter medium temperature is -3° C and summer medium temperature is 13° C.
The rains are abundant on relieves and ridges and diminish towards the coastal plains as well as on the lock chambers among the mountains.
Nevertheless, in every region, the rainiest periods are autumn and winter.
Industry continues to occupy in all relatively marginal role in the region and essentially depends on the productive investments of the other regions as well as on the public investments.
For years, the principal industry of the Region of Lazio was based on civil engineering industry, while nowadays it has been based mostly on high-tech, pharmaceutical, publishing and cinema industry.
Public administration activities as well as banking and insurance activities together with tourism constitute the principal activities of the Region of Lazio.
Transport and communication activities
In the Region of Lazio, there is a very dense system of roads, highways and railroads together with the biggest Italian airport Fiumicino that all connect the city of Rome and the same region with other parts of Italy.
Principal railroad lines are Roma-Firenze-Bologna-Milano, Roma-Pisa-Genova, Roma-Napoli-Reggio Calabria and Roma-Ancona.
The traces of Ancient Roman Consular Roads are still maintained (Aurelia, Cassia, Salaria etc), but the traffic is mainly supported by the system of highways, such as Autostrada del Sole that leads to north towards Milano and to south towards Napoli and by highway that leads across the Apennines Roma-Aquila-Teramo or along the coast of Tyrrhenian Sea Roma-Civitavecchia.
The region of Lazio is still missing an important and principal modern seaport.
Tourism is very well developed thanks to an immense cultural, historical and artistic patrimony of Rome and its role of throne of Christianity.
There are many other important tourist targets in the region, along the coast as well as those ones situated in inland and on the mountains like Terminillo.
Region is rich in thermal complexes such as that one of Fiuggi.
National Parks and Natural Reserves
National Park of Circeo comprises also one part of Agro Pontino and extends between Anzio and Terracina covering an area of about 8400 hectares.
It was conceived in 1934 with task to preserve the original look of Mediterranean Macchia.
La flora mainly consists in evergreen oaks, corks to the north and Mediterranean Macchia to the south and exuberant vegetation and forests around the lake of Paola.
Fauna mainly consists in aquatic birds, wild boars, fallow deers and migratory birds like woodcocks and sea-pies, turtledoves, quails, hoopoes and cuckoos.
Besides the National Park of Circeo, there are many protected areas and natural reserves.
Some of them are Natural Reserve of the Lake of Vico, Natural Reserves of the Lakes Lungo and Ripasottile, Regional park of Monti Lucretili, Regional Park of the Apennines of Monti Simbruini, Suburban Park of the Castelli Romani, protected area of roman Tyrrhenian littoral and coastline, Oasis of Macchia Grande, Park of Monte Orlando and Marine Reserve of the Pontine Islands.
Typical dishes of the Region of Lazio are minestre (soups) prepared with vegetables, vegetable dishes generally and characteristic for Rome "carciofi alla giudia (artichokes)" prepared in a very special way (antipasto), bruschette (slices of bread toasted and seasoned with garlic, olive oil and salt) and crostini (appetizers), different kinds of pasta asciutta: fettucine alla romana, spaghetti "all'amatriciana" or "alla carbonara", or with olive oil and garlic or with cacio cheese and pepper, rigatoni con la pajata, pasta e ceci, pasta e faggioli, pasta e lenticchie (first-course meal).
Other typical dishes are abbacchio (spring lamb) prepared in different ways like arrosto (roasted), "alla cacciatora", "brodettato", "alla scottadito"-hot from the grill, porchetta (porker roasted whole on a spite prepared with spices in a particular way), saltimbocca alla romana (rolled piece of veal and ham cooked with sage and prepared in a special way), coda alla vacinara (oxtail) and pajata, while the meals based on fish are diffused along the coast of the Tyrrhennian Sea and in Rome (second-course meal).
Concerning the condiments the first place belongs to delicious olive oil, followed by strutto and lardo (lard), guanciale and ventresca.
The cheeses to be tasted are certainly ricotta, mozzarella and mozzarella "di bufala" (especially from the zones of Terracina, Gaeta and Sperlonga), as well as rich flavoured and piquant pecorino romano.
Prosciuttos from the zones of the lake of Bracciano and from the province of Frosinone are very renowned.
Insaccati (sausages and salamis) and salumi (salted meat of any kind) are very renowned, too.
White wines prevail over the red wines.
They could be roughly subdivided into secchi or asciutti (dry wines), dolci and pastosi (sweet and fruity) and amabili, abboccati or sulla vena (sweet, mild and semi-sweet, medium dry).
Very celebrated and well-known ones derive from the territories of Colli Albani: Frascati, Grottaferrata, Albano, Marino, Genzano, Arriccia, Castel Gandolfo, Colonna, Lanuvio, Monte Compatri, Monte Porzio Catone, Nemi, Rocca di Papa, Roca Priora and Velletri.
Certainly to be tasted would be Frascati and Cannellino (sweet version of Frascati).
The other white wines from the territories of Palestrina, Zagarolo, Capena and Nettuno are also renowned and very recommendable.
Generally, besides Frascati and Cannellino, very good ones are Est! Est! Est! from Montefiascone, Bracciano, Vignanello, Castiglione in Teverina, Castel Sindici from Ceccano.
Good red wines from the region of Lazio are: Cesanese, l'Aleatico, Barbera, Cannaiola, Cécubo, although excellent results were obtained from cultivation of the sorts vine typical for other Italian Regions, such as Trebbiano, Sangiovese, Merlot and Montepulciano.
Typical sweets of the Region of Lazio are mostaccioli, pan pepato, pangiallo romano, castagnole from Viterbese, pasta reale from Alvito, nociata natalizia from Sabina, amaretti di Guarcino, le ciambelle all'anice from Ciociaria, to name only some of them.
Popular feasts with rustical roots are connected with the feasts of wine and food: feasts of Marino and Montefiascone, sagra delle fragole(feast of strawberries of Nemi in month of June), of artichokes in Ladispoli and in Sezze, of nuts and chestnuts in Cimini and Norma.
More important and persistent are religious feasts some of which are of spectacular nature, while the others are more folkloristic.
Some of them are dedicated to some sacred ceremonies and pilgrimages.
Among the most important religious feasts would be the recalling of Presepio Francescano in Greccio, representation of Presepio vivente in Corchiano, Processione di Santa Rosa in Viterbo (with transportation on bare hands of particular scaffolding system constituting a bell tower not less than 30 meters high!), l'Infiorata di Corpus Domini a Genzano, l'Infiorata di Corpus Domini and Misteri di S.Cristina (in July) in Bolsena, Processione "della Signorina" (the 8th of December) in Ariccia, La salita al Calvario in Bagnoreggio, la Passione di Cristo in Bagnaia and in Maenza, representation of 15 miracles in Montecompatri (14th and 15th of August), just to mention some of them.
Some of the feasts of historical origin are La festa del fiore or di Mezzo Maggio in Acquapendente (recalling the liberation from Barbarossa, with an exibit of knives and daggers), Barabatta (May) in Marta, dedicated to the ancient corporations with a symbolic offer of some typical products to the church of the Madonna del Monte, Carosello storico dei rioni in Cori (June) and in Alatri etc.
Some pilgrimages to the sanctuaries are, for example, pilgrimage to the sanctuary of SS. Trinità (the feast of the Trinità is celebrated on the 26th of July), situated near Vallepietra on the M.Autore with the procession and "Canto delle Zitelle (Songs of the Spinsters)", pilgrimage to the Madonna di Canneto (August), with so called Sagra delle Quattro Regioni, with many participants, tourists and pilgrims encountering each other from different regions (from Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise and Campania), pilgrimages to Mentorella (29th of September), pilgrimages to the Madonna di Galloro near Ariccia (the 8th of December), to the Madonna della Civita, near Itri (21th of July), the procession called "delle stuzze" in Fiuggi (the 2nd of February), pilgrimage to the Castel Gandolfo (the first Sunday of September), etc.
Carnival is another feast making part of the folklore of the Region of Lazio and is celebrated with particular vivacity in the cities of Rieti and Ronciglione as well as in different villages situated in Ciociaria.
Festival della Zampogna is celebrated in Acquafondata (January), with large participation of "zampognari" from Abruzzo, too.
Festival internazionale del folclore (August) and Biennale nazionale di pittura (October) held in Alatri as well as the festival held in open space in Teatro Romano (summer) in Minturno, Festa del Mare (Ferragosto) in Gaeta are characteristic events, too.
National and historical costumes with characteristic colours and fabrics, elaborated in a particular way can still be seen (but rarely) during the feasts in Genzano, Ariccia, Velletri, Nemi, Monte Compatri, Villa Latina, Nettuno, Ciociaria and the valley of Comino.
Artisanship is limited to the works of ceramics in Tuscia, Civita Castellana and in Vastanello, utensils made from copper in Ciociaria and Palestrina, objects from wood (handmade) from Reatino, objects from majolica, embroidery and needlecraft works as well as woollen carpets from Arpino.