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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Visiting Unknown Italy - Latium East Of Rome

Plat aux éléphants
Plat aux éléphants (Photo credit: Clio20)
English: Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, Lazio, Italy...
English: Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, Lazio, Italy. The Maritime Theatre. Français : Villa d'Hadrien, Tivoli, Latium, Italie. Le Théâtre maritime. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rome (Photo credit: Elescir)

If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Latium region of central western Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Latium, also known as Lazio, is the region that includes Italy's capital Rome, the Eternal City. This short article focuses on Latium east of Rome. A companion article describes Latium west of Rome.

Tivoli is the famous site of Hadrian's Villa, a getaway retreat for that famous Roman emperor. He ran the empire from this villa during the latter years of his rule. The site exceeds a square kilometer (over 250 acres) and contains more than thirty buildings. The Vatican Museums contain much of this UNESCO World Heritage Site's decorations and statues.

Villa d'Este is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tivoli. It is a beautiful water garden, reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. This villa was founded in the mid-Sixteenth Century by a son of Lucrezia Borgia. One 'pathway' is called the Avenue of One Hundred Fountains. Be sure to see the Fontana di Rome, a scale model of Ancient Roman, demolished but partially rebuilt.

The town of Ninfa was destroyed during the Fourteenth Century. For six hundred years it lay in ruins, in part because of the malarial mosquitoes in the nearby marshes. And then in 1920 an aristocratic English artist, Ada Wilbraham, married into the Caetani family that had been given the city way back in 1297 by a Caetani Pope. Wilbraham started the restoration that has continued to this day. The site includes a bridge and seven churches from Roman times, a castle, and the city wall.

Anzio, a resort city of some 45,000 people was the birthplace of the Roman Emperors Caligula and Nero. In 1944 it was the site of a major World War II battle, Operation Shingle. Visit the Anzio Beachhead British Military Cemetery, the Beachhead Museum, and the American Military Cemetery in nearby Nettuno.

Latium cuisine is abundant. The best cuts of meat were reserved for the rich and the poor had to make do with the rest, including feet, heart, and the like. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy - Eastern Latium for a sample menu and more information on Latium wines plus an in-depth examination of its tourist attractions. While today Latium is not particularly known for its wine in the distant past Falernum, a Latium red was the hit of Ancient Rome.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers trips to Italy and drinking fine Italian wine. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website and his global wine website featuring weekly bargain wine reviews. E-Book

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