Rome, at the heart of Lazio, is arguably the most beautiful city in the world and many people want to visit it at least once in their lifetime. And I must say, I am among the people who love Rome and could never get enough of this magical place. That said, once in Rome you should not forget about its stunning surrounding. Rome lays in Lazio, the region at the heart of Italy where you should spend your time when not in Rome (or right after having visited Rome).
Here is a list of my very favorite spots in Lazio. Towns and villages where the traces from a far away past mingle perfectly with the present, quieter places than the capital city, away from many tourists while still being captivating and well kept.
Cerveteri is a hilly town is one of a extremely well-preserved necropolis constructed by the population inhabiting the Etruria region (Umbria and part of Tuscany) before the Roman. A series of tombs were constructed inside small hills and arranged and decorated as small houses. You can still enter some of them and admire the paintings on the wall as well as the many objects from their daily life left in the tombs. Walking though the streets in Cerveteri is a special experience where you will be immerse in green hills and ancient cultures.
The town Caprarola is situated in the norther part of Lazio and is known to few. Which is a pity because here you can visit the amazing Villa Farnese (or also called Villa Caprarola). This breath-taking villa was build around 1500 a.C. and it is a beautiful example of Renaissance and Renaissance art. A smaller, way less touristy but still well kept place that has nothing to envy to cities like Florence.
Villa d' Este is a 16th century villa in Tivoli, not far from Rome. This beautiful villa is an example of the Reinassance art and it is mostly known for its beautiful garden facing the hills in Lazio and for its many fountains. The complex system for watering the garden and providing water to the many fountains is a great work of engineering and if you visit it during the summer, you can still see how perfectly it works despite the many years gone by.
This garden in the province of Latina, Giardino di Ninfa, is by many defined as a Natural Monument: many exotic plants as well as native ones (such as roses which made it known as the most romantic garden in the world), many waterfalls and ponds, medieval ruins and birds. A well preserved 8 hectar area that witnessed many generations and historical moments. It is a pleasure to visit and every time I am there, I never want to leave!
Ostia lays on the Latian coast facing the Tirrenean sea and it is near Ostia Antica which is a beautiful place for observing Roman ruins. Not far from Rome but with less tourists, Ostia Antica is an incredibly well preserved locations where Roman houses, thermal sites, art and ruins are kept and protected. Walking thorough its streets is an incredible experience which I just cannot recommend more.
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