(Latium in Latin) is a regione of central Italy, bordered by Tuscany, Umbria,
and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Lazio is notable for its history, art, architecture,
archaeology, religion and culture.
Lazio is divided into five
provinces - Frosinone, Latina, Rieti, Rome (Roma) and Viterbo.
The name of the region also
survives in the tribal designation of the ancient population of Latins,
from whom the Romans originated. In Roman mythology, the shadowy king Latinus
allegedly gave his name to the region. The name is most likely derived
from the Latin word "latus", meaning "wide", expressing the idea of "flat
land" (in contrast to the local Sabine high country) but the name may originate
from an earlier, non Indo-European one. Latium, originally inhabited by
the Latins, extended its boundaries to the territories of the Sanniti,
the Marsi and Campania thanks to the Roman conquests, taking in the lands
of the Ernici, the Equi, the Aurunci and Volsci. This territory was called
Latium Novi to differentiate it from Latium veteres, which indicated the
During the Augustus' administrative
system, Latium - together with the present region of Campania - was the
first Italian region.