If you are a curious traveler, willing to explore the whole Region, not only the magnificent city of Rome, Lazio offers many opportunities: natural parks, the coast with coves and beaches, ancient and new villages built upon hills...all of this, mixed together with the sound of local traditions and the taste of local plates. You can discover more reading our green travel guides to Lazio and the eco-friendly accommodations:
Deep in the nature, escaping from the frenetic pace of everyday life: you can do it easily in Lazio!
In the surroundings of Rieti there is the Natural Park of Gran Sasso And Laga Mountains, the wider protected area in the center of Italy, between Abruzzo, Marche and Lazio. Apennines offer many itineraries for hikers in a landscape that keep changing in a surprisingly way. You can find your adventure visiting the Barche waterfall in Trecene, that during winter are frozen, with stalactites, or walking till the top of a mountain, such as Gorzano with its 2458m, the highest of the Region, from which to admire the amazing landscape on Terminillio Mountain, on Sibillini Mountains, till the Corno Grande. If you are lucky, you will have the chance to spot chamois walking around: in fact the Chamois of Abruzzo has recently been re-introduced in the park.
In the south part of the Region in the surroundings of Frosinone and Latina, there are Lepini Mountains, covered by forests of Mediterranean bushes, overlooking the fertile and flourishing countryside of Agro Pontino.
There are many itineraries reaching mountain tops such as Semprevisa, Lupone and Erdigheta mountains. Furthermore in this area it as been recently introduced the Natural Park of Monti Ausoni and Fondi Lake. It covers a territory of a great naturalistic importance.
Fondi Lake has salty and soft water and is a natural habitat for many species of plants and animals and also a stopover for many migratory birds. In addition, Pastena Caves are worthy of a visit: it is one of the biggest spelological places in Italy, crossed by many subterranean paths.
Bolsena Lake in the surroundings of Viterbo, with its circular shape, is known for being the biggest volcanic lake in Europe. You can walk along its coast along Via Cassia, built by Ancient Romans. There is also another volcanic lake in the Region: Bracciano Lake, not far from Rome. Even though it is smaller, it offers cozy beaches. Deep under its waters there are rests of an ancient village, built in the neolithic era.
Have some rest at the seaside: the Riviera of Etruschi, with its pinewoods and wide beaches of dark volcanic sand, runs from Marina di Pescia Romana till Ladispoli, along the coast of Maremma laziale, in the north part of the Region. On the other hand, in the south, you will find the seven beaches of Gaeta, between Sperlonga and S. Agostino. They are considered the most beautiful of the Region with coves and rocky bays. You can also enjoy a visit to Pontine Islands, in Tirreno Sea, a perfect place if you like diving.
Walk along path and streets, built with stones many years ago by Romans, such as Via Cassia, Via Flaminia or Salaria. You can follow them by bike or on foot, across cities and the countryside, jumping back to the past. Via Salaria, as an example, is one of the first street built with the aim of carriage of salt, from Ostia Antica to Accumoli, and then towards Ascoli Piceno, on Adriatic Sea.
Local products mainly come from farming: they are generally hearty and served in generous portions! You can find here delicious lentils, artichokes and chicory, but also dairy products such as mozzarella and ricotta. Ricotta is also used in the preparation of traditional cakes: creams, ice-creams and tarts. Truffles from Apennines are a unique taste in many of the local dishes as well.
The Region also gives birth to some of the most appreciated recipes in Italy: carbonara spaghetti, with eggs and meat, bucatini all'amatriciana, with tomatoes and meat, vermicelli with cheese and pepper and trippe alla romana.
Here are some eco-friendly suggestions if you are thinking about an holiday in Lazio:
Podere la Branda, Vetralla (VT). It is an old house once used as a shelter for animals fully restored. There are 6 apartments and 1 double or twin room, all independent and equipped with every comfort. Guests can also relax with a refreshing swim in the swimming pool surrounded by greenery and overlooking the olive grove and enjoy the weekly baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables directly from the bio-farm.
Valmontone B&B, Valmontone (RM). A B&B located in the Roman hills, 35 minutes from Rome, offering two cozy and comfortable rooms. It is the perfect place for those who want to enjoy the wonders of Rome and the charm of the "Roman countryside", full of history, culture and folklore. Here you can also taste traditional plates.
Finally, if you look for some travel inspiration in Lazio you read some of these posts:
Author: Anita Cason
Cover image: Bert Kaufmann via Flickr
Santa Fiora (Toscana)
Castel Ritaldi (Umbria)