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Map of Farm houses in Latium


 

Information on Latium


Population:

5.031.230 abitanti

Surface:

17.227

Boundaries:

In the north with Tuscany, in the east with Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo, in the south with Molise and Campania in the west with Tyrrhenian Sea.

Agriculture:

The agriculture in this region is fairly productive along the coastal strip, where fruit and vegetables flourish (especially globe artichokes), wheat and olive, whereas it is poor in the inland mountanious area where only grape-growing has any importance. Lazio also specializes in the growing of watermelons, peppers and walnuts while cattle breeding is mostly with sheep and buffalo (from which we get the famous mozzarella cheese). Fishing is not a great source of income however, but the port of Anzio and Civitavecchia are still quite busy selling fish.

Landscapes:

The phisical aspect of the region is, for the most part, hilly whereas the plains and the mountains occupy only a small percentage of the whole area. In the north there are four significant groups of mountains of volcanic origin. They are called "Mounts Volsini", "Mounts Sabatini", "Mounts Cimini" and the "Alban Hills" while in the Appenine area the massive and imposing mountains of Reatini tower up , culminating in the peak of Terminillo at 2.213m. Lazio's wartercourses are very complicated because they arise in a mountainous territory of different origins and constitution which is being continually modified by eruption and the earth' s movement up and down. The principal river in the region is the Tiber (Tevere), 405 kms long, it is the third important Italian river after the Po and the Adige. It has it source at Poggio delle Vene on the eastern of the Mount Fumaiolo at the height of 1.268 m; it more or less follows the line of the Appenines at the parallel, and thenflows in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Other rivers of some importance are the Liri-Garigliano (168 kms) and the Aniene (108 kms). As for the lakes in the region of Lazio, we would like to point out that they owe their origins to volcanic eruptions; they are so large as to warrant being classified among the most important lakes in the entire peninsular. They are called Lake Bolsena and Lake Bracciano; also important but not so large are the lakes Vico and Albano. There are lakes in the coastal area too. The climate along the coast is mild, whereas in the mountanainous areas the winter are long and very cold. Finally, we would like to tell you about the Circeo National Park, a natural reserve high up in the mountain of the same name. Unplanned buildings has seriously disturbed the original flora and fauna and there used to be beautiful red herons in the Park. Firs and beech trees grow on the mountain slope. Topography: Mountain: 26,1% Hill: 53,9% Plain: 20%

Industry:

The industries in this region are very well developed, but with one serious defect; the most important industries are concentrated mainly in the areas around Rome and Latina. The capital is the principal cultural and commercial centre of the region besides begin the seat of embassies, thanks, ministeries and a big rich tourist industry. However, the most important sectors are those of the cinema, computer software, telecomunications, alimentary products, textiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals (medicines). Thanks to the rapid growth of industry and the ever greater economical importance which Rome exerts over the whole of Italy, a noteable services sector has come into being during the last ten years, along with an increased public administration. Tourism, has already been said, is very important and it mostly concentrates on Rome. Commerce too has assumed an ever increasing part in the "services sector".

Cities:

Rome is not only the principal city of the region, but also the Capital of Italy. It is a beautiful city which lies on the banks of the river Tiber (Tevere) and has grown up on the famous "Seven Hills". They are the Capitol (Campidoglio), the Quirinal (Quirinale), the Celio, the Palatine (Palatino), the Esquiline (Esquilino) and the Viminale. Rome is an enormous historical centre of art and architecture and is also a religions (the Vatican State is part of the territory) and political centre (being the seat of the President of the Republic of Italy and Parliamentand all the business of Government). Furthermore, the city is an extremely important centre of road communications (the historical Roman Roads radiate from here, the Via Appia, Aurelia, Cassia, Flaminia, Salaria, Prenestina, Tiburtina and Casilina), motorways, air-traffic and railways. Obviously, the economy of the city is very well developed; it is based on great industries such as iron and steel, the cinema, high fashion, photography, electronics, radio-television, clothing manifacture and food products. For centuries Rome has been (and still is) one of the sought after destinations in the world because of the mystic fascination which it has for people. The city possess innumerable wonderful works of art and architecture; the most well known and important are the famed Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, the Roman Forum, the Porta Pia, which was designed by Michelangelo, the church of San Carlo ai Catinari (St. Charles at the Catinari), Piazza Colonna and the Settimio Severo Arch. Another important city in the region is Latina, a busy commercial centre. It is the home for important industries such as textiles, electrical goods, food products and clothing; agriculture is mostly based on produce like walnuts, watermelons, peppers (red, green and yellow) and wheat. Tourism is fairly well developed and concentrated mainly in the seaside resorts. The city has no important building to offer the visitor. Viterbo, which lies at the foot of the mountains (Monti Cimini), is a busy agricultural centre producing walnuts, vegetables and grapes. It has industries of modest proportions such as iron and steel plants, mechanical engineering and food production. The city has some well preserved medieval buildings among which are the Papal Palace, the churches of Santa Maria della Verita' (St. Mary of the Truth) and San Francesco (St. Francis) and the renaissance Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Quercia (St. Mary of the Oak). Situated on the southwest lower edge of the Mount Terminillo, Rieti does not have a fluorishing economy but does, however, produce quite an important amount of sugar, olives and grapes and the textile and alimentery industries. The most important buildings in Rieti are the Cathedral, the church of Sant' Antonio Abate (St. Anthony Abbot), the Palazzo Vescovile ( Bishop's Palace) and the church of San Francesco (St. Francis). The last city to mention is Frosine. This is a small place with developing industry in the mecchanical engineering sector, in food production, woodwork and glass manifacture and it also produces wheat, olives, wallnuts and grapes. There are no important buildings worth mentioning. Touristic resorts: the tourist localities are Fregene, Gaeta, Lido di Ostia and Sabaudia. These are famous seaside resorts. Rome is famous for its works of art and Fiuggi is well known throughout Italy for the thermal baths at the spa.

Characters:

An illustrious name belonging to this region is that of Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli (1791-1863), one of the greatest poets of the 18th and 19th centuries. His literary works were written mainly in dialect which is, of course, Roman; about two thousand sonnets were published after his death. By using this dialect, a violent and crude local language, the poet soundly denounced the state of injustice and misery in which Papal Rome had been condemned to live for centuries. He voiced the resignation, the irony, the scepticism and the kind of hopeless rebellion of one who could only give vent to his feelings by using coarse and filthy language. Fhurthermore, the major number of his sonnets were written in a form that presupposed an interlocutor, a listening public that was knew the lives and the feelings of the people were not born in solitude but were shared by all. Another famous man born in Lazio was Pietro Metastasio (his real name was Pietro Trapassi, 1698-1782). He was a notable poet and playwright. In his youth, he studied under the tutelage of Vincenzo Gravina who steered him towards an ecclesiastical career; when his tutor died, Metastasio moved to Naples where he had great success as a composer of laudatory and dramatic poems. Much admired by those in "high places", Metastasio was summoned to Austria to be the court poet and there he wrote his most important works: "Demetrio", "Olimpiade", "Demofonte" and "La poetica di Orazio tradotta e commentata" (Demetrius, Olympiad, Demofonte, the poetical works of Horace translated with comments). St. Thomas of Aquinas (1225-1274) was a theologist and philosopher who asserted that there was a relationship between philosophy and theology and between reason and faith, excluding any opposition and establishing a balanced subordination from philosophy to theology and from reason to faith. His idea was that, in fact, the truths of faith are not irrational but rational and that human reason acts in their defence and confirms its own irreplaccable role. His most important works are "Summa theologica", "De unitate intellectus" and "Summa contra Gentiles". Finally, two very importants personages were Caius Giulius Caesar (100-44 BC) and his adopted son Augustus (Caius Giulius Caesar Octavius, 63 BC -14 AD), illustrious names in Roman history. The former was a great military strategist and an able politician; he was the victor of innumerable military bettles. The latter was the first real Roman emperor thanks to his victory at Azio over Antonio. It was he who put an end to the civil wars of that period.

History:

When Rome was born on the banks of the river Tiber, the ancient Italic people of Latins were living in the region. They occupied the smal area south of the Tiber which the Romans called "old Lazio" (Latium vetus). The Latin cities were united by the kind of religious tie (or in a religious league) presited over the town of Alba Longa; but as soon as the new Latin city became fairly important it began on its brillant "career" of world dominator. It immediately took over the role of leading city from Alba Longa and became the indisputable centre of the region. "Old Lazio" recognised that the city of Rome was now its religious and therefore the political centre. This happened about the middle of the 7th century before the birth of Christ. During the next two centuries, two serious events occurred which interfered whith her plan of regional unification; the Etruscan offensive and the Gallic invasion. However, Rome overcome those two dangerous periods and instead, the Romans adopted many of the habits and customs of those peoples. In the following years, Rome subdued the nearby cities and peoples: the Equi, the Volsci etc. So other areas were added to "old Lazio" and the region became known as "Latium adjectum" (joined Lazio). When Augustus reorganized the regions of the then "Italy", Lazio (both old and joined) along with Campania became "the first region". The area north of the river Tiber which was Etruria was not included. During the glorious years of the Empire, Lazio anjoyed, as did a good part of Italy, the fruits of the amazing power achieved by the Roman people. At the fall of the Roman Empire, the region also had to suffer the sad conseguences following foreign invasions. In the middle of the struggles and invasions during that chaotic period, the Bishop of Rome with his religious and political authority became more and more important. In fact, being extremely rich, he organised widespread assistance to the people afflicted by the misery of continuous wars. Even the invaders bowed to the Pope; it was the Longobards and the Franks who instigated the formation of the Church State by donating various territories to the Papacy (one of these was the famous gift of Sutri). During the whole of the Medioeval period, no Italian region was tormented by hate, battles and conspiracies as much as Lazio. This was because too many people wanted dominance in the affairs of State. In all this discord, it was the common people who suffered and who had to live with danger and in misery. The once glorious and imperial Rome was reduced to a foul and filthy travesty of a city and at one time the population did not even come to 20,000. The most unruly and quarrelsome persons were the so-called barons and lords belonging to the feudal families. Alliances between these various houses criss-crossed in an infinite variety of ways; and as if this were not enough, some German emperors often entered eagerly into the struggles. This long chaotic period lasted right up to modern history. But only the Church surrived the struggle and continued to administer her lands for more than three centuries. During the Risorgimento, the Church State passed to Italy and since then Lazio' s history has become that of the Italian Nation.

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