At a glance
5,898,182 (as of 2017)
Unpretentious, direct, willing to help, creative
Rowdy, sly, crude sense of humour, rough accent, football tribalism
Lazio, the 'knee' of the Italian Peninsula, is the second most populous Region after Lombardia. With Rome as its regional capital, it has wielded tremendous prestige and influence vastly greater than its remarkably rustic hinterlands would suggest. Nearly half of Lazio's population reside in the Eternal City, with the rest dwelling in modestly sized towns near its northern border with Toscana and Umbria, and southern border with Campania. Prior to Italian Unification in 1870, Lazio was the heartland of the Papal State, coming under the direct sovereignty of the Throne of St. Peter.
Once known as Latium, Lazio is the homeland of the Latin language, and was the birthplace of many who have shaped the course of Western history, from Roman Emperors to philosophers, orators, painters, sculptors, architects, authors and Popes. Yet Lazio beyond the confines of Rome is an entirely different land. Of all tourists and visitors who come to Lazio, only the tiniest fraction will venture beyond the capital, but those who do will find a deeply traditional country, where breathtaking beauty is at times intruded upon by 20th century kitsch and unsightly development. Despite the immortal glory of Rome, the entire region has a rough character, reflected in the coarse accent and liberal use of profanities. The infrastructure of rural Lazio has experienced prolonged neglect over many decades, resulting in tricky-to-access, but profoundly authentic towns.