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Lazio

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I tell everyone who goes to Rome: the first thing to do when you touch down at Fiumicino is have a cappuccino at the airport–no matter the weather, no matter how many hours your slept on the flight, no matter what time of day. (Despite the Italian mandate that cappuccino be consumed only before 10AM, it’s always 10AM when you dismount a transatlantic airliner.)

 

I head immediately to the caffe located to the left of the airport exit, and order “un cappuccio tiepido,” a tepid cappuccino. That cappuccino is always the best one I’ve had since my last visit to that exact same airport cafe.

 

Lazio, as a province, is vast and varied, from the beautiful windswept beaches outside of Sperlonga and Tarquinia, to the beautiful borders of Umbria and Abruzzo and the magnificently simple pastoral scenery of the Castelli Romani area. This central area is made spectacular by an abundance of visual and gastronomic treats. The entire region is covered with grapevines, and glorious fields of vegetables and fruits.

 

Dotting the region are literally hundreds of small trattorie, ristoranti, osterie, and little roadside trucks and stands. All of these spots serve porchetta (roasted pig), abbacchio (lamb and kid), and infinite glasses of deliciously simple, local white wine.

 

The town of Frascati, a classic Lazio town, is instrumental in the production of the quaffable white wines that are native to the region. Fifteen minutes east of Frascati lies the tiny town of San Cesareo, home of the diminutive Osteria di San Cesario.

 

On the way home, I always recommend an overnight stay back in the town of Fiumicino. There, the airport Hilton is just a short walk to the terminals. Sleep well and fly with ease.

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