Established by Benito Mussolini in 1932, the city of Latina is the capital of the Latina province, the smallest province in the Lazio region of Italy. Originally known as Littoria, the city was built on the site of a small village which grew up during the reclamation of the Pontine Marshes, a project which was invested in (and exploited) by the Fascist Party as a propaganda tool in the 1930s. Latina’s Italian nickname "La Città dell'Agro Pontino" translates as The City of The Pontine Marshes. Designed and built by Oriolo Frezzotti, the city is both a frontier town, existing on land painstakingly reclaimed from the marshes, and at the same time an indulgent showcase for the monumental and modernist predilections of the Fascist Party. Expats living in Latina will find themselves in a swan-like city; a fine example of modern Italian architecture and city planning, based on the geometric principles of minimalism and rationalism, which is working hard beneath the surface to keep the brackish swamp water from encroaching.
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The swamp water seriously damaged the city during the Second World War, when, in 1943, the Germans stopped the pumps and opened the dikes. Regeneration in the 1960s and 70s helped the city to recover and eventually reach its current status as the second most populous city in Lazio and an important agricultural and industrial center. Many an expatriate moving to Latina is involved with the NATO Communications and Information Systems School or the thriving pharmaceuticals industry (Corden Pharma and Haupt Pharma are both represented in Latina). Whatever brings you to the city, Latina has a lot to offer expatriates and any to-do list should start with an exploration of the architectural heritage. Stand in the central square, Piazza del Popolo, next to the ball fountain and take in the clean, modern lines of the city hall or Torre Civica, with its 32 meter bell tower. Or visit Piazza San Marco to see the city’s Cathedral, which was completed in 1933 is easily recognized by its three tall arches supported by pillars.
If the Fascist legacy of self-indulgent, Modernist architecture isn’t to your taste, then perhaps the regions food and drink will remind you of the benefits of life in Latina. Enjoying Gaeta olives, garofolato lamb and Merlot Trebbiano in one of the city’s restaurants could become one of the small pleasures of expat life in Latina. Expatriates working in Latina are in a fairly small minority and could benefit from membership of InterNations’ global community to help them get in touch with like-minded people. Maybe you want to find expats living locally who share your enthusiasm for diving, so that you can explore the waters off the Pontine Islands safely. Or maybe you need advice on housing, jobs, visas and where best to go to socialize on a Friday evening. InterNations provides a friendly, informal platform on which expatriates in Latina can obtain information, share their experiences and connect with other expats living in Latina, Italy, or around the world.