The wider region of Lazio is often overshadowed by Rome and the Vatican City, and this is just as true for art and culture as it is for tourism, history, dining and sport.
However, Lazio itself has a rich diversity of cultural and architectural highlights for those willing to go a little way off the beaten track and enjoy the less widely visited sights of the area. Ostia is well known as a sea resort on the Lazio coast, but also offers the ruins of ancient Ostia, an excellent example of a well preserved Roman town.
Further north is Viterbo which is the location of an Etruscan necropolis which is a World Heritage Site, while the National Archaeological Musuem in the Palazzo Vitelleschi is considered one of the most important Etruscan museums in Italy. In the city of Tuscia, one can find reminders of history from the ancient Etruscan civilisation, through mediaeval feudalism, and then the glories of the Renaissance. Also in the Viterbo area is the Villa Lante, a late Renaissance private residence with a marvellous examples of formal Italian gardens.
The Parco dei Mostri is a large park with numerous weird and wonderful sculptures, said to be a great inspiration for Salvador Dali, while 20th century artist Balthus spent 30 years living in the old village of Montecalvello.