Latium is the region around the city of Rome. The area was inhabited by an Italic tribe, called the ‘latins’, in the iron age (10th century BCE). Members of the tribe founded Rome, and they gave their name to the entire region. Lazio is the modern Italian name for the region.
With the early growth of Rome the region was soon subjected to the city, and remained the immediate hinterland of the city of Rome for all of antiquity. The entire region is full of Roman ruins, not just in and around Rome, including some of the most important Roman sites, such as Ostia Antica, Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, and the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primogenia in Palestrina. To this list could be added many minor sites (by local standards): Roman country villas, aqueducts, roads, temples, catacombs, … Ancient Rome is ubiquitous in the region.
The northern part of Latium was originally under Etruscan control, and it is still called the Tuscia locally. The Etruscans transmitted to the Romans central parts of their culture and there is still much to see, for example in Tarquinia and Cerveteri.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in the west, Rome and Latium became the centre of the Papal State and remained as such until the unification of Italy in 1860.