Lazio (UK: / ˈlætsioʊ /, US: / ˈlɑːtsioʊ /, Italian: ; Latin: Lazio) is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy. Located in the central peninsular section of the country, it has almost 5.9 million inhabitants - making it the second most populated region in Italy (after Lombardy and just ahead of Campania) - and its GDP of over 170 billion euros per year means it has the second largest regional economy in the nation. The capital of Lazio is Rome, which is also the capital of Italy and the largest city in the country.
Lazio comprises a land area of 17,242 km2 (6,657 sq km) and is bordered by Tuscany, Umbria and Marche in the north, Abruzzo and Molise in the east, Campania in the south and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west. The region is mainly flat, with small mountainous areas in the most eastern and southern districts.
The Lazio coast is mainly composed of sandy beaches, dotted with the promontories of Circeo (541 m) and Gaeta (171 m). The Pontine Islands, which are part of Lazio, are located in front of the southern coast. Behind the coastal strip, to the north, is the Maremma Laziale (the continuation of the Tuscan Maremma), a coastal plain interrupted in Civitavecchia by the Monti della Tolfa (616 m). The central part of the region is occupied by the Roman countryside, a vast alluvial plain that surrounds the city of Rome, with an area of approximately 2,100 km2 (811 square miles). The southern districts are characterized by the plains of the Agro Pontino, a once marshy and malarial area, which has been reclaimed over the centuries.
The Preapennini of Lazio, marked by the Tiber valley and the Liri with the Sacco tributary, comprise three groups of volcanic mountains on the right of the Tiber: the Volsini, Cimini and Sabatini, whose largest former craters are occupied by the Bolsena , Lakes of Vico and Bracciano. South of the Tiber, other mountain groups are part of the Preapennines: the Alban Hills, also of volcanic origin, and the limestone Lepini, Ausoni and Aurunci. The Lazio Apennines are a continuation of the Abruzzo Apennines: the Monti Reatini with Terminillo (2,213 m), Monti Sabini, Prenestini, Simbruini and Ernici which continue east of the Liri in the Mainarde Mountains. The highest peak is Monte Gorzano (2,458 m) on the border with Abruzzo.
See also: List of museums in Lazio
The Italian word Lazio descends from the Latin word Lazio. The name of the region also survives in the tribal designation of the ancient population of Latin, Latin in Latin spoken by them and passed in the city-state of ancient Rome. Although the demography of ancient Rome was multi-ethnic, including, for example, Etruscans and other Italics in addition to the Latins, the latter were the dominant constituent. In Roman mythology, the Latin tribe took its name from the Latin king. Apart from the mythical derivation of Lazio given by the ancients as the place where Saturn, ruler of the golden age in Lazio, was hiding (latuisset) from Jupiter there, an important modern etymology is that the Lazio comes from the Latin word "latus", which means "broad", which expresses the idea of "flat land" which means Roman countryside. Much of Lazio is in fact flat or wavy. The lands originally inhabited by the Latins were extended to the territories of the Samnites, Marsi, Hernici, Aequi, Aurunci and Volsci, all surrounding the Italic tribes. This larger territory was still called Lazio, but was divided into Lazio adiectum or Lazio, the added lands or Nuovo Lazio, and Lazio, or Vecchio Lazio, the oldest and smallest region.
The northern border of Lazio was the Tiber river, which divided it from Etruria.
Emperor Augustus officially brought together almost all of current Italy into a single geo-political entity, Italy, dividing it into eleven regions. The part of today's Lazio south of the Tiber River - together with the current region of Campania immediately south-east of Lazio and the headquarters of Neapolis - became Region I (Lazio and Campania), while the modern Alto Lazio became part of the Regio VII - Etruria and today the Province of Rieti has joined Regio IV - Sannio.
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 the Byzantine conquest, this region regained its freedom, because the " Roman duchy "became the property of the Eastern emperor. However, long wars against the Lombards weakened the region. With the donation of Sutri in 728, the bishop of Rome acquired the first territory in the region beyond the duchy of Rome.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazio