The region of Lazio is largely overlooked in favour of Rome, however there is a lot to see and do here on Italy Customized Tours.
Visit enchanting hamlets and towns
The region is dotted with ancient hamlets and towns that will take your breath away. The historic town of Viterbo with a stunning, well-preserved medieval centre, Civita di Bagnoregio clinging precariously to a crumbling cliff, Cervara di Roma where the streets are filled with sculptures and murals created by international artists. On the coast, the resorts of Gaeta and Sperlonga are well worth a visit.
Admire ancient Roman ruins
If you want to explore an ancient Roman city without having to elbow your way through, head to Ostia Antica, a short train ride from the Eternal City. One of the best archaeological sites in the region, Rome’s ruined port where you can see well-preserved buildings, streets, mosaics and frescoes. For a glimpse of the opulent life of a Roman Emperor, there is no better place than Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli. The Emperor created this country residence with no expense spared: imposing statues, marble pavements, mosaics and other reminders of the bygone glory are impressive.
See the lakes
Within an hour drive from the Italian capital lies the Lazio Lake district with its beautiful Lakes Bracciano, Vico, Martignano and Bolsena that fill the craters of extinct volcanoes. Surrounded by medieval towns and olive groves, the lakes make for a great getaway from the sizzling Rome in summer. Closer to Rome, you will find Lake Nemi and Lake Albano beloved by a succession of Popes who escaped here for a breath of fresh air and tranquillity for centuries. Take a dip, admire the views, vexplore the pretty churches and small museums away from the capital’s maddening crowds.
Explore Etruscan sites
Lazio boasts some of the best Etruscan sites in Italy. The Etruscan necropoli of Sutri has 64 Etruscan tombs dating back to the 6th to 4th centuries B.C. The impressive necropolis at Cerveteri is composed of many of stone tombs, while the site in Tarquinia is famous for its 200 tombs with stunning wall paintings.
Photos via Flickr by: Alvaro Garrido, Eli Brody, Riccardo Cuppini.