Rome’s countryside and seaside
The Best of Lazio beyond Rome:
We all know Rome, its history, its magnificent squares and its wonderful monuments. But how many of you know the Lazio region? Few people know that Lazio is the region in which Rome is located and few people know all the beauties this region offers. It is a region that satisfies all tastes, whether you are a beach lover, countryside lover, culture lover, lake lover, or food & wine lover!
Because we have already written about Rome, the Capitol of Lazio, and about its beauties (you can read by clicking here), we will not dwell too much on the capital, but we will just give some basic information.
How to reach Lazio Region?
The best and fastest way to get to the Lazio region is by plane. Fiumicino, Rome’s airport, is the main Italian airport and the one that best connects Italy with the rest of the world.
Once you arrive at the airport in Rome, we always suggest spending at least two nights at one of the many charming hotels in the capital. At WinkItaly we can offer hotels from the best luxury chains to small boutique hotels or elegant family-run B & Bs. The choice is entirely up to you.
A short overview of Rome:
The arrival in Rome from the USA is always early in the morning, therefore we recommend that you book an early check-in. Take a couple of hours to rest from the long journey before meeting a local guide in the afternoon, who will help you to discover Rome from a Vintage Mini or a FIAT 500. In a few hours, you will get an overview of the city and of its major attractions. At the end of the tour, ask the driver to leave you at one of the taverns located in the Trastevere district and enjoy a good “Pasta alla Carbonara”, one of the Lazio region’s typical dishes!
How should you spend your second day in Rome? Easy! Get out of the hotel and stroll through the streets of the Eternal City. Monuments, palaces, squares, and fountains will fill your day! If you need a guide to assist you during the day, that’s not a problem. We will give you a private guide for as long as you want!
If you are interested in visiting the Vatican Museums or the Colosseum, we suggest you book them well in advance. We’ll take care of everything.
For Nature Lovers!
If you like National Parks, Lazio offers you several options. You can visit the “Parco Naturale di Bracciano” where the lake of the same name is located. Or you can spend a full day at the Parco dei Castelli Romani, where the Pope’s summer residence is located. Or, you can visit one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy, the Garden of the Nymphs. Any choice will be the right one!
PARCO NATURALE DI BRACCIANO
Lake Bracciano, a splendid Lazio basin of volcanic origin, rises in an area characterized by numerous crater cavities, a sign of the presence of the ancient Sabatini volcanoes in central Lazio. It has the classic circular shape of volcanic basins, an area of 57.5 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 160 meters. All around there is a panoramic road that will allow you to circumnavigate the basin and visit the most characteristic villages on its banks, including the most interesting: Bracciano, Trevignano Romano and Anguillara Sabazia.
The most famous village is Bracciano and it is worth a visit! The village was born as a small village of fishermen and farmers, developed from an early Etruscan settlement.
The ancient village of Bracciano rises directly on the shores of the lake, in an enchanting location whose fame is due to the imposing and magnificent “Orsini Odescalchi Castle”, known throughout the world for its beauty and chosen by many to celebrate fairytale weddings. Walking through the streets of the village, going up towards the castle (from where you can enjoy a great view of the lake), you will find numerous historical-artistic testimonies to admire: the Collegiate Church of S. Stefano, the churches of S. Maria Novella and Madonna del Riposo and the beautiful square where the Town Hall rises.
PARCO DEI CASTELLI ROMANI
Villages, ancient towns, villas, Medieval castles, and archaeological ruins animate the Regional Park of the Castelli Romani, in the Province of Rome.
Located in the Alban Hills, in the past, the Castelli Romani was a favorite resort for the Capital’s noble families as well as for Popes. 9,500 hectares of protected land, many animal species, such as badgers, martens, peregrine falcons, porcupines, and especially the wolf (a key component in the local ecosystem) also make this their habitat.
Seventeen municipalities make up part of the Park of the Castelli Romani; however, for an already-exhaustive window into the area, organize a tour of just 2 of them.
The historic center of this town is enclosed by a peperino wall, beyond which, due to the perfect state of the conservation of houses, palaces, and churches, you can immerse yourself in an ancient atmosphere. Walking through the streets and alleys, you reach the fourteenth-century fortress, with the two suggestive overlapping cylindrical towers, the original prison is now the seat of the municipal wine shop; here you can taste the fine DOC wines of the Lanugini hills and admire the interesting display of agricultural tools and winemaking tools.
This village overlooking Lake Albano has been the holiday destination of popes, cardinals, and Roman Curia for centuries. Originally the residence of the Savelli Family, Urban VII transformed it into a Papal Palace in 1623. It also houses the most important astronomical observatory, known as “the Vatican Observatory.”
The surrounding countryside also boasts numerous valuable monuments: the Church of St. Thomas of Villanova, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini; the 16th-Century Roman gate; the majestic Villa Clodius, built in the Republican era; the Baths of Diana, created under Domitian’s rule. Equally-beautiful and intriguing are the remains of the ancient villas of Castel Gandolfo, the Albanum Domitiani (the country house of the emperor Domitian), Villa Barberini, and Villa Cybo, connected by a bridge and a loggia leading to the papal palace.
For Seaside lovers!
After visiting Rome and discovering Lazio’s countryside, you deserve some relaxation. That’s why we suggest you visit Ponza and the nearby islands. Yes, Islands! You may be surprised to know that not far from Rome lie six tiny, yet beautiful islands known as the “Pontines”.
The transparent waters, the gracious little ports, and the easy ferry connections make these “fishermen’s isles” an attainable Mediterranean dream: within just a couple of hours from the coast, the Pontine Islands will welcome you with all their warmth and hospitality.
Ponza is the “biggest” with just 3.1 square miles of terrain. It is a concentration of both rocky and sandy beaches, natural arches, “Faraglioni”, pristine waters, romantic coves and landfalls for mooring, and magnificent, hilly scenery.
Upon coming here, any sea lover immediately understands that the Pontine Islands are the ideal vacation setting.
What is our best tour of Ponza?
It’s the private boat tour, of course. It is on board a small fishing boat, the oldest on the island and it has also been used for film sets. With the captain, who speaks perfect English, you can tour the island of Ponza and also reach the small island of Palmarola, a real unspoiled paradise.
And for scuba lovers?
The Pontine Islands hold much more under the surface: marine landscapes at which scuba divers and snorkelers will absolutely marvel. They will find an underwater isthmus connecting Ponza to its neighboring isle of Zannone, and deep and variegated seabed bearing such relics as ancient Roman ships and sunken World War II steamship remnants.
During your stay in Ponza we suggest you relax, enjoy the sea, the sun and the recipes based on fresh fish.
There would be many other places in Lazio that are worth talking about, but for today our journey to discover this region ends here. It’s time to go home, but don’t worry, our travel adventures in Italy will continue!
Lazio was inhabited at least 60,000 years ago. History mingles with myth in the writings of Virgil, who describes how Aeneas landed in Lazio, where he married the daughter of the Latins’ King. Romulus and Remus (legendary founders of Rome) were descendants of this union.
I hope that you enjoyed this insight into the world of the Lazio region and that you get inspired to learn more or see for yourself! If you enjoyed this blog post, share it with a friend and if you are interested in learning more about traveling to this area or any other region in Italy, please contact us for more information.