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1. a region of W central Italy, on the Tyrrhenian Sea: includes the plain of the lower Tiber, the reclaimed Pontine Marshes, and Campagna. Capital: Rome. Pop.: 5 145 805 (2003 est.)
2. the Italian name for Latium



(Latium), a region in central Italy, on the Apennine Peninsula, in the basin of the Tiber River. Area, 17,200 sq km; population, 4,702,100 (1971). It is composed of the provinces of Frosinone, Latina, Rieti, Rome, and Viterbo. Rome is its chief city.

For the most part the region lies in the foothills of the Central Apennines (maximum altitude, 2,247 m); there is a lowland (the Roman Campagna) in the middle part.

The region in which Italy’s capital is located, Lazio is basically an agricultural area, except for Rome itself: more than 80 percent of those engaged in industry in the region are concentrated in the province of Rome. The agricultural area amounts to 1.2 million hectares (1970), of which 66.2 percent is arable land, 16.6 percent is meadows and pasture, and 14.5 percent is orchards, vineyards, and olive groves. The chief crops are grapes (mainly for wine), wheat, and olives; there is market gardening near Rome. In the mountainous areas there is animal husbandry, mostly sheep breeding. The region has large-scale private land holdings, with some of the land rented out in small plots and some remaining tenantless. The chief branches of industry are machine building (especially the electrical engineering and electronic industries), food, printing, paper, construction materials, and wood products. The traditional branches are the garment, textile, haberdashery, souvenir, musical-instrument, and toy industries. After World War II the chemical, oil-refining, and rubber industries grew. The film industry is of international significance. The new industrial centers, including Colleferro, Latina, and Pomezia, are linked closely to the region’s chief industrial center, Rome.

In antiquity, Lazio (Latium is the Latin name) was populated by the Latini. The oldest writings on the region date from the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. (from Praeneste) and the sixth century B.C. (from Rome).


Almagia, R. Lazio. [Turin] 1966.
Attuoni, P. “I nuovi centri industriali del Lazio.” Rivista geografica italiana, 1959, no. 4.
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