THE ETRUSCAN TOMB OF SUTRI  Here’s an archaeological site few visitors have heard of: the Etruscan necropoli of Sutri! One of the key towns of the ancient civilization of Etruria, Sutri today has 64 Etruscan tombs dating all the way back to the 6th to 4th centuries B.C. (that’s 600 years before the current Pantheon was built in Rome!).  The Roman amphitheater here is also worth seeing. Sutri is located just 45 minutes by car from Rome.

The Hidden Gems of Italy's Lazio Region

Italy, Lazio, Sutri (Viterbo) - Necropoli etrusca with 64 Etruscan tombs dating all the way back from the to centuries B.

BRACCIANO AND THE ODESCALCHI CASTLE  Located just an hour from Rome by train, the town and lake of Bracciano make the perfect escape. The medieval town is quaint and lovely; the 15th-century Odescalchi castle has been the residence of two different papal families (the Borgias and Orsini), and played host to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (ill-fated?) wedding!

The Hidden Gems of Italy's Lazio Region

Odescalchi Castle, Bracciano This castle, an easy day trip from Rome, has been the residence of two different papal families (the Borgias and Orsini).

CIVITA DI BAGNOREGGIO  This gem of a town is one of the most striking sights in Italy! Civita di Bagnoregio suffered an earthquake in the 17th century that was so devastating, much of the town collapsed, leaving only the small section you see here. (Even the home of Saint Bonaventure, who was born here, fell off the edge of the cliff). The town’s isolation means it has only a handful of residents today, but it’s well worth seeing for its beauty.

The Hidden Gems of Italy's Lazio Region

Civita di Bagnoregio, located in Rome's region of Lazio, suffered an earthquake in the century so devastating, much of the town collapsed, leaving only the small section you see here.

BOMARZO, PARKS OF THE MONSTERS  The Bosco dei Mostri (or “Park of the Monsters”), located an hour’s drive from Rome, is guaranteed to astonish. Laid out in the 16th century’s Mannerist style, it features enormous sculptures of everything from one of Hannibal’s war elephants to a statue of Ceres. You’ll feel like you’ve entered a dreamworld!

Lazio's Hidden Gems, Part II

CASTEL GANDOLFO AND THE LAKE ALBANO  Easily reachable by train from Rome, Albano Lake makes an ideal escape in the warmer months. But year-round, it’s also worth visiting to see Castel Gandolfo, the tiny, charming town overlooking the lake that belongs to the Pope himself, and where he vacations in the summer.

The Hidden Gems of Italy's Lazio Region

HADRIAN'S VILLA AT TIVOLI  http://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/rome/lazio-region-italy-rome-day-trips

The Hidden Gems of Italy's Lazio Region

If you’re looking for a day trip from Rome, you don’t have to go any further than Lazio, the region that’s home to Italy’s capital city!

VILLA D'ESTE AT TIVOLI  Commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, the grandson of Pope Alexander VI, in the 16th century, the Villa d’Este remains one of Italy’s most splendid villas. Wandering through its rooms, formal gardens, and gorgeous fountains is an easy way to spend an afternoon, or whole day!

Lazio's Hidden Gems, Part II

GROTTA DEL TURCO IN GAETA  The seaside town of Gaeta includes a 6th-century castle, mausoleum from the 1st century B.C., and important medieval churches. But the Grotta del Turco, or “Turk’s Grotto,” is one of the town’s most stunning attractions. The natural grotto, which is illuminated with colorful light at different times of day, is accessible from the sanctuary of S.S. Trinita.

Lazio's Hidden Gems, Part II

You won’t find these 5 must-see Italian destinations in your average tourist guide book! Italy is a splendid and complex combination

Sperlonga, Italy  Beatiful beach in Lazio

Sperlonga, Italy Beatiful beach in Lazio

OSTIA ANTICA  Particularly if you’re not going to make it to Pompeii, Ostia Antica—just a half hour outside Rome on the train—is an excellent alternative. Rome’s ancient port city, Ostia Antica remains an intact town even today, complete with forum, bars, restaurants, even brothel!

Lazio's Hidden Gems, Part II

SUBIACO  This is a small town with some big claims to fame: St. Benedict established his very first monastery here (in about 529), it’s the first city in Italy that printed books, and it was the birthplace of two historic beauties—Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI Borgia, and Italian bombshell Gina Lollobrigida! Today, the charming town is worth visiting for the stunning Benedictine monastery, castle, and quiet medieval character.

Lazio's Hidden Gems, Part II

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