Wednesday, July 23, 2008
On the west coast of central Italy lies Lazio (Latium), a region that is home to two of the world’s most famed cities: Rome (Roma) and, in it, Vatican City. It is virtually impossible to pinpoint a single destination in Rome as a “must see” because it is a place that appeals to so many people for so many reasons. There is the Vatican in all its religious, artistic and architectural glory. There are the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum for those fascinated with thousands of years worth of history (they don’t call Rome the ‘Eternal City’ for nothing). Art lovers around the world treasure the Capitoline Museums that house an astounding array of ancient art and sculpture (ancient themselves, the museums were founded in 1471). And the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps are gems of Rome that should not be missed.
Though it is the capital of Italy and one of the country’s largest cities, Rome is not the only place worth visiting in Lazio. The Pontine Isles, volcanic islands off Lazio’s coast, are a brilliant reminder of why Italy is often considered one of the most beautiful places in the world. For those overwhelmed by Rome’s intense, so-much-to-see environment, the Pontine Isles provide a much-needed break, an island getaway with breathtakingly stunning surroundings. On Ponza, the Isles’ largest island, “relaxation and leisure have been transformed into a high art,” according to http://www.selectitaly.com/. The beauty of Ponza can be seen all along its jagged, colorful and rocky shores, in its numerous seaside coves, and on its secluded, pristine beaches.