Lazio’s region is vast and very varied from the point of view of natural landscapes. The region, which extends from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea, is mainly made up of mountainous and hilly areas, while, as we get closer to the coast, it is easy to come across flat areas. The hinterland is occupied by three mountain groups: the Volsini, the Cimini and the Sabatini, and their related lakes: the Bolsena, Vico’s Lake and Bracciano’s Lake. To the west, Lazio’s mountains gently slope towards the Maremman plain, and towards the Tevere’s Valley to the east. Southern Lazio is occupied by the Colli Albani and it extends over another mountain group that runs parallel to the Apennines, from which they are separated by the Ciociaria’s valley, where flow the Sacco and the Liri-Garigliano’s waters. The area of Rome is occupied by the Agro Romano which continues towards the south, always following the coastline, until the Agro Pontino. The Lazio coast is regular, low and sandy; even if, there are some “protrusions”, such as Capo Linaro, Anzio’s promontory and Nettuno, Monte Circeo and the Gaeta’s promontory. Also, in front of Gaeta, stands the Ponza’s Archipelago, made up of six small islands of volcanic origin.
Incomparable Landscapes Between The Sea and The Mountains
The combination of these natural beauties, in addition to the multiplicity of historical testimonies and the variety of flavors to be discovered, make up Lazio, beyond Rome, a region to be chosen for a thousand and one nights wedding. You can think of organizing a wedding in places rich in history such as the Etruscan necropolis of Cerveteri, the ancient Ostia’s Roman Excavations, the Terracina’s Jupiter Anxur Temple, or alternatively in places with breathtaking views and unspoiled landscapes, such as the Pontine islands with Vesuvius in the background, up to Villa Adriana in Tivoli, where lived the emperor Adrian. Notable, for exceptional locations, is the medieval district of San Pellegrino and the Gothic Palace of the Popes, in Viterbo; the medieval villages, some with real defensive walls, like Sermoneta or like Anagni, where we also have the Cathedral, the Palace of Boniface VIII and the Barnekow’s house where stayed Dante Alighieri; others, such as Civita of Bagnoregio, the “dying country”, linked to the world by a long and narrow bridge, or Calcata, the magical village where live hippies and witches, and Ninfa, an oasis of ruins mixed with romantic gardens.
For a more traditional ceremony, you can head towards Castel Gandolfo, the current day Pope’s summer residence, between a lake and sea. The well-being culture, in a mixture of landscapes and history, has its strengths in the Fiuggi’s healthy waters (thermal baths), where you can also organize hen and stag parties, in the name of comfort, health and relief.
The Pontine Islands Archipelago, off from Gaeta’s coast, is the ideal location for organizing weddings by boat and where it is easy to associate the celebration of the ritual with a reception overlooking the sea, ideal for wedding banquets full of flavor and the freshness of the local fish. *Alternatively, you can move towards Sabaudia with its white sandy coasts or Sperlonga with its crystalline sea, a white village with a defensive system against the Tyrrhenian Sea Pirates.
Dreaming of a fairytale wedding means feeling like the protagonist of a romantic film. And what better location than … the capital?
Rome and its historical seven hills in the ancient core, with its unique panoramas visible from Monte Mario, the most imposing relief of the city: A perfect setting for the grandeur of the spaces, the splendor of the architectural and monumental heritages, for the very particular light that the city itself seems to release in every alley or glimpse … ideal for photo shots that will make your wedding unforgettable.
Choosing Rome means breathing a history made of Christian and Pagan religious symbols.
The remains of the temples testify the existence of suggestive cults and practices that will become the perfect frame for the memories of those who choose Rome for their wedding.
The city is the heart of itineraries and routes which, even before being tourist or religious, are imaginative. Walking on the streets of Rome means breathing history.
Rome is the city of monuments and palaces, of the patriarchal or papal Basilicas, of pontifical luxurious villas until the Eur’s enigmatic and imposing constructions.
Villas and gardens can welcome couples and guests, frame your dream and give to you silent and meditative walks, such as Villa Doria Pamphilj, Villa Borghese, Villa Ada, Villa Giulia, Villa Chigi, Villa Albani and Villa Torlonia.
The villas are real glimpses of paradise, with ponds and fountains, such as the splendid Cupid’s Fountain in Villa Doria Pamphilj, with its exotic trees and plants, or with suggestive elements such as the water clock of Villa Borghese or the industrial remains such as the Villa Ada’s bunker, restored and ready to give an atmosphere of mystery.
Other frames are theaters and amphitheaters, the imposing Colosseum or other playful buildings such as circuses, the most important of which is the Circus Maximus, Rome’s imperial past symbols.
In a journey through the most suggestive Capitoline places, to make your “yes I do” eternal and unique, cannot be missing monumental fountains, triumphal arches and castles. The first are mainly located in the central area of the Capital and have become the symbol of the city thanks to be the set of several films and services. The Trevi’s fountain, the three fountains of Piazza Navona (Quattro Fiumi, Moro and Nettuno) or the Barcaccia’s fountain located at the foot of Trinità dei Monti (Spanish Steps) in Piazza di Spagna, that for the beauty become perfect natural settings of great events and films.
The triumphal arches, both, Titus and Constantine, are the perfect frame for important and solid memories.
Among the castles the most evocative is Castel Sant’Angelo, built by the popes to control the city, on the right bank of the Tevere
A path through the Roman squares allow the dream of a personal “Roman Holiday”, such as that immortalized by Audrey Hepburn in the famous film: Spanish Steps, Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo. The vitality and beauty of timeless glimpses, evidences of a harmonious and exhilarating concept of architecture. And following the path of Roman Holiday along the streets of the city center, via dei Fori Imperiali, via Vittorio Veneto, via dei Condotti, Via Margutta, via Nazionale, which connects Rome with the Vatican city, will give you the feeling of having lived for once your own film, made of perfumes, places and light.
One of the most interesting areas of the region is represented by the Viterbo’s district. A particularly large area divided into different geographical zones with similar characteristics and orography.
A coastal and flat area, the Alta Tuscia, which has soft hills and a landscape characterized by the beauty of Bolsena’s Lake, an adjacent area to the Vico’s Lake which is bordering with Rome’s territory and the areas that touch Umbria.
This area is characterized by soft landscapes, by numerous lakes, of volcanic origin, by rivers and streams. The landscapes are particular and interesting, with a thriving flora and fauna, linked above all to the presence of the lakes, nestled in the territory of volcanic origin.
The beauty of the landscape and naturalistic ground is accompanied by the architecture’s villages which is in complete harmony with the territory.
Nepi with its medieval towers, the Roman gate and the elegant civil buildings such as Palazzo Floridi, which preserves the tower in regular blocks of tuff, and Palazzo Melata’s portal enriched with stuccos and coats of arms, and the churches of late Baroque architecture such as the San Pietro Apostolo’s church.
Tuscania with its Castello del Rivellino is suitable for those who love mysterious atmospheres, as well as Ronciglione for its unpredictable views. The Santa Maria della Provvidenza’s Church, built on the edge of a ravine on the side of the medieval village that gives a magical and imperious aura to the structure. Particularly striking is the Fontana Grande or the Unicorns, built in sandstone, which owes its name to the presence of three unicorns from whose mouth flows the water that fills the surrounding pools.
Ronciglione is one of the Viterbo area’s villages located along the Via Francigena, the long bundle of routes, called the Vie Romee, which connect France to Rome and further down to Puglia, where were located the ports for the Holy Land.
The Via Francigena more than being a real street is a road system through which you can discover the beauty of the area. From the medieval center of Viterbo to the ancient Etruscan streets. It is a journey through the landscape made of greenery, hills, ancient villages to choose for the realization of your dream.
Also suitable as a setting for the wedding is the Castelli Romani’s area, which owes its name to the presence of multiple fortifications and baronial castles along the Alban Hills different villages and towns.
Some ancient castles were later adapted into patrician residences, like the Palazzo Vescovile or the Rocca in Frascati. The territory of the Castelli Romani is a rich archaeological area, such as the Caracalla’s Baths and Villas, like the Domitian’s Villa in Castel Gandolfo.
The route continues towards the coast through a town of immense historical value: Cerveteri. The city, symbol of the ancient Etruscan culture, is famous for the presence of one of the best preserved necropolises in the world and it is an Unesco World Heritage Site since 2004.
The territory of Cerveteri extends on the Tyrrhenian coast where its black sand beaches are ideal for fabulous weddings with beachside banquets.
Customs Between Tradition and Superstition
The marriage’s rite borns with Roman civilization. “Wherever you are, I will be there” was the Latin marriage formula pronounced by the woman and with which she gave herself to her husband. More precisely, in Rome there were three types of marriages: the confarreatio which was for the patricians and the priestly class, the coemptio which was a real act of sale between the groom and the bride’s father, the usus which considered married the couple who lived together uninterruptedly for a year. In confarreatio we can find some common aspects to the today’s wedding: the bride’s white dress, the custom of wearing the veil and the wedding banquet. In addition, the evening of the wedding, the bride was accompanied to the groom’s house in a procession: after the various rituals, the bride, raised by two bystanders, was brought into the house to prevent her from tripping … it would have been a bad omen!
At the times, everything were organized by the spouses fathers. The two betrothed were seeing each other for the first time only on the occasion of the engagement party, where the groom used to give bread, as a sign of abundance and prosperity, to the bride’s family.
Ingrained in Gaeta, is a rite used in the distant Middle Ages. During the wedding mass the spouses are covered by a veil supported by four people, to symbolize the chastity that the spouses had kept up to that day.
Finally, although not really related to marriage, but linked to the engagement, there is a Grottaferrata’s custom which has come down to the present day, where the boyfriend carries a basket of flowers in front of the girlfriend’s door the night before the Corpus Christi party; but if the relationship between the two lovers is not idyllic, the next morning the floral arrangementwill turn into a bag of nettles and brushwood.
Discovering The Memory Of The Past
The history of Lazio is the history of the different people who have passed through it. From the Etruscans and the Sabines who had inhabited the northern areas of the territory to the Latins, Volsci and Ernici who had colonized the southern areas. But the history of Lazio is above all the history of Rome that was capable of subjugating the Latin populations and the Etruscans, imposing themselves on the whole territory until the crisis and the fall of the Empire.
It is a story of riots and barbarian invasions, of relations between the papacy and the Lombards, of power relations between patrician families, and power struggles between the pope and the emperors.
Lazio is the battleground between conflicting power systems, instability and investiture struggles. These crises also reappeared at the time of Federico II and will erupt with the move of the papal venue to Avignon.
Rome will be a shining capital of the Renaissance and Baroque, and will play an important political role during the Counter-Reformation. Until to assume a strong symbolic value for the Risorgimento’s patriots. It would be annexed to the Kingdom of Italy only in 1870 with the Porta Pia’s breach. The papacy, in fact, had assumed a critical role towards Italian unification. The friction between the state and the papacy was resolved only with the Lateran Pacts in 1929.
Rome will also take an important role during the years of fascism when the myth of imperial Rome was taken up again. But if on one side those years make Rome the protagonist of the mythical narratives, in reality, many of the urbanistic testimonies of the past were destroyed.*In those years, new urban centers arose in Lazio and land reclamation operations were implemented (the Agro Pontino’s reclamation).
During the Second World War, the city suffered architecture damage and injuries as also in the soul of the various districts that make it up.
Despite everything, the Eternal City rose up becoming, during the economic boom, the capital of the Dolce Vita.
So, as Alberto Sordi said: «Rome is not a city like any other. It is a great museum, a lounge to be crossed on tiptoe».