Last updated
Lazio Coat of Arms.svg
Coat of arms
Lazio in Italy.svg
Country Italy
Capital Rome
  President Nicola Zingaretti (PD)
  Total17,242 km2 (6,657 sq mi)
 (2019) [1]
  Density340/km2 (880/sq mi)
Demonym(s) English: Lazian
Italian: Laziale
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code IT-62
GDP (nominal) €201 billion (2019) [2]
GDP per capita €34,300 (2019) [2]
HDI (2018)0.904 [3]
very high · 3rd of 21

Lazio ( UK: /ˈlætsi/ , US: /ˈlɑːtsi/ ; Italian:  [ˈlattsjo] ; Latin : Latium , [ˈlat̪i.ʊ̃ˑ] ) is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy. Situated in the central peninsular section of the country, it has 5,864,321 inhabitants – making it the second most populated region of Italy (after Lombardy and just ahead of Campania) [1] – and its GDP of more than €197 billion per year means that it has the nation's second largest regional economy. The capital of Lazio is Rome, which is also the capital and largest city of Italy.



Relief map of Lazio. Lazio SRTM.png
Relief map of Lazio.
Panorama of the Aniene Valley. Vallee de l'Aniene et Monts Prenestiens.JPG
Panorama of the Aniene Valley.

Lazio comprises a land area of 17,242 km2 (6,657 sq mi) and it has borders with Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche to the north, Abruzzo and Molise to the east, Campania to the south, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. The region is mainly flat, with small mountainous areas in the most eastern and southern districts.

The coast of Lazio is mainly composed of sandy beaches, punctuated by the headlands of Circeo (541 m) and Gaeta (171 m). The Pontine Islands, which are part of Lazio, are off Lazio's southern coast. Behind the coastal strip, to the north, lies the Maremma Laziale (the continuation of the Tuscan Maremma), a coastal plain interrupted at Civitavecchia by the Tolfa Mountains (616 m). The central section of the region is occupied by the Roman Campagna, a vast alluvial plain surrounding the city of Rome, with an area of approximately 2,100 km2 (811 sq mi). The southern districts are characterized by the flatlands of Agro Pontino, a once swampy and malarial area, that was reclaimed over the centuries.

The Preapennines of Latium, marked by the Tiber valley and the Liri with the Sacco tributary, include on the right of the Tiber, three groups of mountains of volcanic origin: the Volsini, Cimini and Sabatini, whose largest former craters are occupied by the Bolsena, Vico and Bracciano lakes. To the south of the Tiber, other mountain groups form part of the Preapennines: the Alban Hills, also of volcanic origin, and the calcareous Lepini, Ausoni and Aurunci Mountains. The Apennines of Latium are a continuation of the Apennines of Abruzzo: the Reatini Mountains with Terminillo (2,213 m), Mounts Sabini, Prenestini, Simbruini and Ernici which continue east of the Liri into the Mainarde Mountains. The highest peak is Mount Gorzano (2,458 m) on the border with Abruzzo.


The Appian Way (Via Appia), a road connecting Ancient Rome to the southern parts of Italy, remains usable even today. RomaViaAppiaAntica03.JPG
The Appian Way (Via Appia), a road connecting Ancient Rome to the southern parts of Italy, remains usable even today.

The Italian word Lazio descends from the Latin word Latium. The name of the region also survives in the tribal designation of the ancient population of Latins, Latini in the Latin language spoken by them and passed on to the city-state of Ancient Rome. Although the demography of ancient Rome was multi-ethnic, including, for example, Etruscans, Sabines and other Italics besides the Latini, the latter were the dominant constituent. In Roman mythology, the tribe of the Latini took their name from King Latinus. Apart from the mythical derivation of Lazio given by the ancients as the place where Saturn, ruler of the golden age in Latium, hid (latuisset) [4] from Jupiter there, [5] a major modern etymology is that Lazio comes from the Latin word "latus", meaning "wide", [6] expressing the idea of "flat land" meaning the Roman Campagna. Much of Lazio is in fact flat or rolling. The lands originally inhabited by the Latini were extended into the territories of the Samnites, the Marsi, the Hernici, the Aequi, the Aurunci and the Volsci, all surrounding Italic tribes. This larger territory was still called Latium, but it was divided into Latium adiectum or Latium Novum, the added lands or New Latium, and Latium Vetus, or Old Latium, the older, smaller region. The northern border of Lazio was the Tiber river, which divided it from Etruria.

The emperor Augustus officially united almost all of present-day Italy into a single geo-political entity, Italia, dividing it into eleven regions. The part of today's Lazio south of the Tiber river – together with the present region of Campania immediately to the southeast of Lazio and the seat of Neapolis – became Region I (Latium et Campania), while modern Upper Lazio became part of Regio VII - Etruria, and today's Province of Rieti joined Regio IV - Samnium.

After the Gothic conquest of Italy at the end of the fifth century, modern Lazio became part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, but after the Gothic War between 535 and 554 and conquest by the Byzantine Empire, the region became the property of the Eastern Emperor as the Duchy of Rome. However, the long wars against the Longobards weakened the region. With the Donation of Sutri in 728, the Pope acquired the first territory in the region beyond the Duchy of Rome.

The strengthening of the religious and ecclesiastical aristocracy led to continuous power struggles between secular lords ( Baroni ) and the Pope until the middle of the 16th century. Innocent III tried to strengthen his own territorial power, wishing to assert his authority in the provincial administrations of Tuscia, Campagna and Marittima through the Church's representatives, in order to reduce the power of the Colonna family. Other popes tried to do the same. During the period when the papacy resided in Avignon, France (1309–1377), the feudal lords' power increased due to the absence of the Pope from Rome. Small communes, and Rome above all, opposed the lords' increasing power, and with Cola di Rienzo, they tried to present themselves as antagonists of the ecclesiastical power. However, between 1353 and 1367, the papacy regained control of Lazio and the rest of the Papal States. From the middle of the 16th century, the papacy politically unified Lazio with the Papal States, [7] so that these territories became provincial administrations of St. Peter's estate; governors in Viterbo, in Marittima and Campagna, and in Frosinone administered them for the papacy.

Lazio was part of the short-lived Roman Republic, after which it became a puppet state of the First French Republic under the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte. Lazio was returned to the Papal States in October 1799. In 1809, it was annexed to the French Empire under the name of the Department of Tibre, but returned to the Pope's control in 1815.

On 20 September 1870 the capture of Rome, during the reign of Pope Pius IX, and France's defeat at Sedan, completed Italian unification, and Lazio was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy. In 1927 the territory of the Province of Rieti, belonging to Umbria and Abruzzo, joined Lazio. Towns in Lazio were devastated by the 2016 Central Italy earthquake. [8]


Agriculture, crafts, animal husbandry and fishery are the main traditional sources of income. Agriculture is characterized by the cultivation of wine grapes, fruit, vegetables and olives. Lazio is main growing region of kiwi in Italy.

Approximately 73% of the working population are employed in the services sector, which contribute 85.8% of regional GDP; this is a considerable proportion, but is justified by the presence of Rome, which is the core of public administration, media, utility, telecommunication, transport, tourism and other sectors. Many national and multinational corporations, public and private, have their headquarters in Rome (ENI, Italiana Petroli, Enel, Acea, Terna, TIM, Poste italiane, Leonardo, Alitalia, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, RAI).

Lazio's limited industrial sector and highly developed service industries allowed the region to well outperform the Italian economy in 2009 in the heart of the global financial crisis. But it was strong affected from COVID-19 crisis 2020-2021 because of lock-down.

Industrial development in Lazio is limited to the areas south of Rome. Communications and - above all - the setting of the border of the Cassa del Mezzogiorno some kilometers south of Rome, have influenced the position of industry, favouring the areas with the best links to Rome and those near the Autostrada del Sole, especially around Frosinone. Additional factor was cheap energy supply from Latina Nuclear Power Plant and Garigliano Nuclear Power Plant, which are now out of the operation after Italian nuclear energy referendum.


Alfa Romeo Giulia 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce TB Automatic 2.0 Front.jpg
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Travertine Calcareo Travertino1.jpg

Industry contribute small part of GDP, share is 8.9% compare to 25.0% in Veneto and 24.0% in Emilia-Romagna. [9] In Rome even less with 7%, compare of 12% from tourism. Virtually no any machine building or metallurgy exists in Lazio.

Firms are often small to medium in size and operate in the

There are some R&D activity in high technology: IBM (IBM Rome Software Lab), Ericcson, Leonardo Electronics (Rome-Tiburtina, Rome-Laurentina, Pomezia, Latina), [11] Rheinmetall ("Radar House") and tire industry: Bridgestone (R&D center in Rome and proving grounds in Aprilia).

Consumer goods

The most distinctive industry in Lazio is production of household chemicals, pharmaceutical and hygiene goods, toilet paper and tissue products: Sigma-Tau, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive, Henkel, Pfizer, Abott, Catalent, Angelini, Menarini, Biopharma, Wepa.



Kiwi Kiwis 006eue.jpg
Cereals [13] Сultivated area, ha
Durum wheat 53,398
Barley 14,294
Wheat 12,850
Corn 11,720
Oats 5,635

From fruits the most important are kiwi (1st place in Italy) and hazel nuts "Nocciola romana". Italy itself is the second largest producer of kiwi worldwide and was surpassed only by China. Infrastructure which has been used for grape growing was easily adapted for kiwi cultivation.

Animal Husbandry

Pecorino Romano Cheese Pecorino romano cheese.jpg
Pecorino Romano Cheese
2019 [14] ItalyShare %LazioShare %% Lazio in
Italian Total

Only sheep and buffalo herds are significant nationwide. Both keep dominantly for milk, which using to production Pecorino Romano and Mozzarella di Buffalo cheese. Sheep herds is the 3rd nationwide after Sardinia and Sicily. 40% of sheep are breeding in province of Viterbo.


Vineyards cover 47.884 ha in Lazio. 90% of wines are white. In production of quality wine Lazio has rank 14 of 20 with 190.557 hl. There are 3 DOCG wines:


The unemployment rate stood at 9.1% in 2020. [15]

unemployment rate
(in %)


Historical population
1861 356,000    
1871 1,173,000+229.5%
1881 1,257,000+7.2%
1901 1,586,000+26.2%
1911 1,771,000+11.7%
1921 1,997,000+12.8%
1931 2,349,000+17.6%
1936 2,655,000+13.0%
1951 3,341,000+25.8%
1961 3,959,000+18.5%
1971 4,689,000+18.4%
1981 5,002,000+6.7%
1991 5,140,000+2.8%
2001 5,112,000−0.5%
2011 5,732,000+12.1%
2019 5,864,321+2.3%
Source: [1]

With a population of 5,864,321 million, Lazio is the second most populated region of Italy. [1] The overall population density in the region is 341 inhabitants per km2. However, the population density widely ranges from almost 800 inhabitants per km2 in the highly urbanized Rome metropolitan area to less than 60 inhabitants per km2 in the mountainous and rural Province of Rieti. As of January 2010, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 497,940 foreign-born immigrants live in Lazio, equal to 8.8% of the total regional population. [16]

Government and politics

Rome is center-left politically oriented by tradition, while the rest of Lazio is center-right oriented. In the 2008 general election, Lazio gave 44.2% of its vote to the centre-right coalition, while the centre-left block took 41.4% of vote. In the 2013 general election, Lazio gave 40.7% of its vote to the center-left block coalition, 29.3% to the center-right coalition and 20.2 to the Five Star Movement.

Administrative divisions

Lazio is divided into four provinces and one metropolitan (province-level) city:

Latium Provinces.png

ProvinceArea (km2)PopulationDensity
Province of Frosinone 3,244496,545153.1
Province of Latina 2,251543,844241.4
Province of Rieti 2,749158,54557.7
Metropolitan City of Rome Capital 5,3524,097,085765.5
Province of Viterbo 3,612314,69087.1


In Lazio is very popular pasta, famous dishes which was invented here are:

In many pasta sauces use a guanciale. The guanciale is the cut of pork obtained from the cheek of the pig, crossed by lean veins of muscle with a component of valuable fat, of a composition different from lardo (back fat) and pancetta (belly fat): the consistency is more harder than pancetta and more distinctive flavor. The guanciale is salted pork fat, not smoked as bacon. It is typical product for Lazio, Umbria and Abruzzo. Other important sauce ingredient is Pecorino Romano cheese.

There are some vegetable dishes, especial popularity has artichokes (it: Carciofi):

Other region specific vegetables are romanesco broccoli, asparagus, fava bean, cima di rapa, romaine lettuce, pumpkin, zucchini, chicory.


In Lazio cuisine spices are widely used. Among the most used are lesser cat-mint also called "Nepetella" (for artichokes and mushrooms), squaw mint also called "Poleggio" (for lamb and tripe), laurel, rosemary, sage, juniper, chili and truffle.

Quinto quarto

Although Roman and Lazio cuisine use cheep ingredients like vegetable and pasta, but poor people need a source of protein. Therefore they use so called "Quinto quarto" (The fifth quarter), leftovers from animal carcasses that remained after the sale of prized parts to the wealthy.

It contains tripe (the most value part of reticulum, also called "cuffia", "l'omaso" or "lampredotto"), kidneys (which need to be soaked long time in water with lemon to remove urine smell), heart, liver, spleen, sweetbreads (pancreas, thymus and salivary glands), brain, tongue, ox tail and trotters. But the most awful was using of pajata, which is intestines of a calf, which is fed only with mother's milk. The intestines are cleaned and skinned, but the chyme (mass of partly digested food) is left inside. Typical dishes of this style are:

Meat Dishes

"Classical" meat dishes are Saltimbocca alla Romana, which use veal, Prosciutto di Parma, sage and Marsala wine and Abbacchio alla Romana (roasted lamb with garlic, rosemary, pepper, chopped prosciutto)

See also

Related Research Articles

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Coordinates: 41°54′N12°43′E / 41.900°N 12.717°E / 41.900; 12.717