The Lazio region of Italy, the area around Rome including a long stretch of Italian coastline, is a very interesting region. Rich in Archaeology, the region is also known for its papal palaces, forests, gardens, and wine. Hadrian built a villa just east of Rome near modern Tivoli, where you'll also find the Villa d'Este and its amazing fountains. The traveler could spend an entire vacation here just visiting the Etruscan places north of Rome. We have detailed maps and descriptions of the Lazio region and its tourist attractions. You'll find:
- Lazio Basemap - A map of Lazio showing the five major cities with an introduction to the Lazio region.
- Map of Northern Lazio - A map of the section of Lazio where you'll find Etruscan tombs, lakes, Bomarzo's "Monster Park" and other interesting places.
- Map of Southern Lazio - A map showing the Colli Albani, or Albanese hills volcanic complex with the Castelli Romani, or Roman Castles, plus some other surprising tourist destinations.
Lazio is the region that contains Rome--but Lazio's other attractions are formidable, from decorated Etruscan tombs to Renaissance Palaces to volcanic lakes.
Map of Lazio, Italy, showing Rome and other major cities
Lazio, Around Rome - Medieval, Roman and Etruscan Places
Lazio lies along the Tyrrhenian coast in Central Italy; it was the heart of the Roman Empire, the Papal State, and Italy.
Northern Lazio was Etruscan country. Ancient Eturia lied between the Appennines and the River Tiber. Necropoli etrusca is mostly what remains, many still bearing faint paintings.
34 km east of Rome is the city of Tivoli, where the day tripper from Rome might take in the ruins of Hadrian's villa and the delightful gardens and fountains of the Villa d'Este.
South of Rome is the Colli Albabi volcanic complex of hills and lakes where rich Romans build Renaissance and Barroco villas to escape the heat and bustle of Rome, including the Pope. Nearby is Frascati, where you can sit on long communal tables and guzzle the local vino, a perfect refresher on a hot day.
West of Rome is one of our favorite Roman city in ruins, Ostia Antica.
And all this history can be combined with beaches, of course. Formia, on the southern edge of Lazio, was along the Appian way in Roman times, and hosts Cicero's tomb--but is also known for its modern beaches.
To get a closer view of the attractions of Lazio, zoom into the Lazio region by using our Northern Lazio Map or our Southern Lazio Map.
Northern Lazio Map: Viterbo Province to Rome
Use our Northern Lazio map to plan travel in Lazio or day trips from Rome.
Northern Lazio Map Notes
The mauve dots indicate Etruscan places to visit, the green dots are interesting towns without much Etruscan association and the golden triangle is an area known as the Etruscan Triangle, for its wealth of cultural remains, mostly tombs.
Starting from the North on the Northern Lazio Map
Bagnoregio, or the dying Civita di Bagnoregio, is the abandoned town on a soft tufa ridge made famous by Rick Steves.
Montefiascone is a nice medieval town on a volcanic ridge overlooking Lake Bolsena and home to the wine some say is the best white in Italy: EST! EST! EST!
Bomarzo is famous for its "Monster Park." Known at its inception in 1552 as the "Villa of Wonders" for its fantastic statuary.
A top example of an Italian Renaissance garden can be seen at Villa Lante Gardens, near Viterbo.
Caprarola - Visit the Farnese Palace, an outpost of the rich and famous from 1559.
Barbarano Romano has a castle, a view of the gorge of the River Biedano and some cave/tombs, plus it offers places to stay while visiting Parco Regionale Marturanum, inside the park is Necropoli di San Giuliano, where you'll find a percorso etrusco or Etruscan walk that will take you through Etruscan and Roman ruins in the scenic countryside. Blera is an ancient town with Etruscan Etruscan roots nearby.
Of all the places you can go on the map to visit Etruscan places, Tarquinia should be your first choice because of its archaeological museum in the Palazzo Vitelleschi. The Etruscan town and its necropolis date back 3000 years and consist of around 600 painted tombs (Tomb Pictures). You can get to Tarquinia using the Roma-Ventimiglia line departing from Roma Ostiense station.
The second most important archaeological site may well be that of Cerveteri, about a mile from the main piazza in town. It consists of dozens of "tumulus" tombs.
The cliff Tombs of Norchia are also interesting,
for more on Eturscan places in northern Lazio, see our Northern Lazio - Viterbo Province and Etruscan Country of Lazio resources.
Map of Southern Lazio: Castelli Romani, Roman Ruins, Battlefields and Beaches
South of Rome, Southern Lazio offers an array of opportunities for walkers, history buffs, and lovers of wealth and wine.
The Southern Lazio map shows the parts of Lazio south and east of Rome. Easy day trips from Rome include:
- Ostia Antica - West of Rome on the map - Ostia Antica is one of our favorite Roman sites, as it represents a real city, not a resort, and it's easily accessible with fewer visitors than Pompeii or Herculineum. Accessible by metro from the Roma-Lido station (get off at Rome's Piramide station (trudge up the escalator, turn left and down the steps into the Roma-Lido station.) Get off at the Ostia Antica stop.
- Tivoli - See the villa, gardens and fantastic fountains of the Villa d'Este, then take a short bus ride out to Hadrian's Villa. Accessible by bus or train from Rome.
- Colli Albani and the Castelli Romani - South of Rome is the Volcanic complex of hills and lakes. Rich Romans have summered here for centuries, leaving a lot of grandeur to take in. Even Popes summer at the Papal Palace and extensive gardens of Castel Gandolfo. You'll find lots of fresh air and Frascati wine awaiting you at Frascati, just 13 miles from Rome (archeology buffs and walkers will want to take to the ancient pavements of the Tusculum, starting on the Via dei Sepolcri in Frascati), Take in a spectacular view of the volcanic crater that is lake Nemi from the medieval village of Nemi, magazine Geo Saison calling Nemi one of the most picturesque villages in Italy. Park: Parco Naturale Castelli Romani.
- Anzio and Nettuno - further South in Lazio are two cities associated with World War II, Anzio and Nettuno. Anzio hosts the Anzio Beachhead Museum (Museo dello Sbarco di Anzio) and Anzio War Cemetery. Nettuno was the site of Allied landings in the Second World War, and hosts the American Cemetery and Memorial. Both towns accessable via trains from Rome
- Gaeta is a stunning town with nice beaches in southern Lazio between Rome and Naples.
- Formia was along the Appian way. It's reached by train in about two hours from Rome. Cicero's Tomb, Roman ruins and nice beaches make this a fine stop in Lazio.
- The stunning Montecasino Abbey, famous as an important WWII battle site, is well worth a visit.
A great place to stay in a small medieval hill town in southern Lazio is Casa Gregorio Bed and Breakfast. They also have a cooking school.