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Last Minute Latium (Tours and visit Latium)

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The history of Latium (Last Minute and Tours)

The ancient history of Latium is closely linked to that of Rome. Before the foundation of the city the area was inhabited by a varied population, most important among them: Etruscans and Latins. Cities and Etruscan necropolises to the north, acropolises and polygonal walls to the south were witnesses of the ancient civilisations.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the fate of Latium was tied to that of the temporal power of the Papacy, which reinforced itself over the following centuries and remained intact down until the unification of Italy in 1870.

Originally inhabited by the Latins, Latium extended its boundaries to the territories of the Sanniti, the Marsi and Campania thanks to the Roman conquests, taking in the lands of the Ernici, the Equi, the Aurunci and Volsci. This territory was called Latium Novi to differentiate it from Latium veteres, which indicated the original boundaries.

During the Augustus' administrative system, Latium - together with the present region of Campania- was the first Italian region.

After the Gothic war (535-553) and the Byzantine conquest, this region regained its freedom, because the "Roman Duchy" became property of the Eastern Emperor. However the long wars against the Longobards impaired the region which was seized by the Roman Bishop who already had several properties in those territories.

The strengthening of the non-religious and ecclesiastical aristocracy led to continuous power struggles between lords and the Roman bishop until the middle of the XVI century.

Innocent III tried to strengthen his own territorial power, trying to assert his authority on the provincial administrations of Tuscia, Campagna and Marittima through the Church's representatives, in order to tear down the Colonna's power. Other popes tried to do the same.

During the Avignon period (1309-1376) the feudal lords' power increased thanks to the absence of the Pope from Rome. Small communes and Rome above all, opposed the lords power raise and with Cola di Rienzo tried to put themselves up as antagonists of the ecclesiastic power. But between 1353 and 1367 the restoration of the pontifical authority brought to a total retrieval of Latium and the rest of the Pontifical States.

From the middle of the XVI century the pontifical power's definitive victory unified Latium's history with that of the Pontifical States becoming the provincial administrations of St. Peter's estate, with a governor in Viterbo and of Marittima and Campagna and one in Frosinone.

After the short Roman Republic and the region's annexation to France, by Napoleon I, Latium became again part of the Pontifical States.

In 1870 when the French troops abandoned Rome, General Cadorna entered the pontifical territory, occupying Rome on the 20th of September and Latium was definitely enclosed to the Kingdom of Italy.


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