Lazio Italy 10 Fun Facts - Digging Up Roots in the Boot

Lazio Italy 10 Fun Facts

Ciao tutti!  Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot’s YouTube Channel.  Alessia is going to share 10 fun facts about Lazio, Italy.  It is one of 20 Italian Regions in Central Italy.  Watch the video and continue reading below.  Also, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on new video posts.

1Lazio Italy

Lazio is a region in central Italy that is divided into four provinces and the metropolitan city of Rome.  It is the second-largest regional economy in Italy and the second most populated region in Italy with about 5.9 million inhabitants.  When Italy unified in 1861, the population was only 356,000.

2 The Province of Rieti

Rieti, with a population of just under 159,000, is the smallest of the 4 provinces.  It is located in mountains of northeast Lazio.  It is home to two well- known man-made lakes, Lago Salto and Lago del Turano which were created in the 1930s as reservoirs.  What you may not know is that the NBA superstar Kobe Bryant grew up in Rieti.

3 The Baths of Viterbo in Lazio

You can find Viterbo’s best-kept secret in the Arcione River Valley.  There are several thermal sulfur springs famous for their therapeutic and healing properties.  You have to pay for some springs while others are free for bathing and swimming.  The most well-known is Bullicame which can reach temperatures as high as 58 degrees Celsius or 136 degrees Fahrenheit.  It makes a great relaxing day trip between Florence and Rome.

4 Frosinone Lazio Italy

The Abbey of Montecassino, one of the most famous monasteries in the world, has been destroyed 4 times since it was founded in 529.  The last time it was bombed by Allies on February 15, 1944.  The Allies believed that the Abbey was a strategic position occupied by the Germans.  In reality, it was a refuge for civilians and many of them lost their lives.  It was rebuilt "Com'era, dov'era" ("How it was, where it was") in 1964.

5 NATO Base in Gaeta Lazio Italy

A NATO base was established in 1967 in Gaeta in the province of Latina.  Gaeta was the headquarters for the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet until 2004.  Shortly after, in 2005 the department of defense closed its American School.  Today Gaeta is the homeport of the sixth fleet flagship its crew and families.

6 Rome the Capital of Churches

Have you ever wondered how many churches are in Rome?  Many historians, teachers, and archaeologists have tried to count them.  There is not an official number, but there are more than 900 churches.  If you include small churches and chapels inside private buildings, convents, and palaces then the number is around 1,600.  If you wanted to visit every church in Rome spending an average of 30 minutes in each church it would take you more than a month to see them all.

7 Lazio Italy has a Cat Sanctuary

There is a cat sanctuary in the Largo de Torre de Argentina in Rome's historic district.  From 1929 to 1991, the cats living in the sanctuary were protected by Roman law and fed by associations of cat ladies called “gattre.”  They take in up to 25 cats a month as permanent borders.

8 Cinecittà Lazio Italy

Cinecittà is the largest film studio in Europe and is considered the hub of Italian cinema.  It was founded in 1937 during the Fascist era in an attempt to revive the Italian film industry.  It became the “Hollywood on the Tiber” in the 1950s.  Its famous film productions include La Dolce Vita, Gangs of New York, Grande Fratello and The Young Pope.

9 The Pearl of Lazio - Sperlonga

Sperlonga, the pearl of Lazio, is a member of Cittaslow.  It is an organization founded in Italy in 1999 to improve the quality of life by slowing down its pace.  The charming seaside town has long sandy stretches of crystal-clear blue flag beaches.  Sperlonga's clean beaches and slow Italian lifestyle make it a popular tourist destination.

10 Ancient Roman Hair Dye and Wigs

According to the Encyclopedia of Hair, by Victoria Sherrow, blonde hair in ancient Rome was originally a symbol of prostitution.  Prostitutes were required to bleach their hair or wear blonde wigs.  Later that stigma diminished when fair hair slave girls were acquired. Noblewomen would make wigs from their blonde hair making it a fashionable hair trend.

Do you know any other fun facts about Lazio?  Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Also, be sure and watch our other fun fact videos on Italy’s 20 regions and read our blog posts on Italy’s 20 regions. Thanks for watching and reading 10 fun facts about Lazio. A presto!

Contact us if you are interested in finding out more about your Italian Heritage.

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I am a proud third generation Italian American dedicated to promoting the richness of Italian cultural heritage.

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