Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo

Albarese

Acquapendente


anghiari

Archipelago Toscano


Arcidosso


Arezzo


Asciano


Badia di Coltibuono


Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa

Beaches

Bolsena Lake


Bomarzo

Brunello di Montalcino

Buenconvento

Campagnatico


Capalbio


Castel del Piano


Castelfiorentino

Castell'Azarra

Castellina in Chianti


Castelmuzio


Castelnuovo Bererdenga


Castiglioncello Bandini


Castiglione della Pescaia


Castiglione d'Orcia


Castiglion Fiorentino


Celleno


Certaldo


Chinaciano Terme


Chianti


Chiusi


Cinigiano


Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio


Colle Val d'Elsa


Cortona


Crete Senesi


Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba

Firenze


Follonica


Gaiole in Chianti


Gavorrano

Gerfalco


Greve in Chianti


Grosseto


Lago Trasimeno


La Foce


Manciano


Maremma


Massa Marittima


Montagnola Senese


Montalcino


Monte Amiata


Monte Argentario

montecalvello

Montefalco


Montemassi


Montemerano


Monte Oliveto Maggiore


Montepulciano


Monteriggioni


Monticchiello


Monticiano


Orbetello


Orvieto


Paganico


Parco Naturale della Maremma


Perugia


Piancastagnaio


Pienza


Pisa


Pitigliano

Prato

Radda in Chianti


Roccalbegna


Roccastrada


San Bruzio


San Casciano dei Bagni


San Galgano


San Gimignano


San Giovanni d'Asso


San Quirico d'Orcia


Sansepolcro


Santa Fiora


Sant'Antimo


Sarteano


Saturnia


Scansano


Scarlino


Seggiano


Siena


Sinalunga


Sorano


Sovana


Sovicille

Talamone

Tarquinia


Tavernelle Val di Pesa


Torrita di Siena


Trequanda


Tuscania


Umbria


Val d'Elsa


Val di Merse


Val d'Orcia


Valle d'Ombrone


Vetulonia


Viterbo

Volterra




 
Traveling in Tuscany
             
 
 
Viterbo


Surroundings
       
   

Viterbo


   
   
Viterbo is surrounded by the Monti Cimini and Monti Volsini. The historic center of the city is surrounded by medieval walls, still intact, built during the 11th and 12th centuries.

Viterbo's historic center is one of the best preserved medieval towns of central Italy. Many of the older buildings (particularly churches) are built on top of ancient ruins, recognizable by their large stones, 50 centimeters to a side.

The main attraction of Viterbo is the Palazzo dei Papi, that served as a country residence and a repair in time of trouble in Rome. Begun as the Episcopal Palace in 1255, from 1257 on, with the arrival of Alexander IV the works were hurried and were completed in 1267 with the construction of the famous loggia, which in origin was a double one, but then the northern part collapsed under the excessive weight and has not been rebuilt ever since. The columns of the palace are spolia from a Roman temple. At the right of the Loggia begins the proper Episcopal Palace with the Sala Gualtiero(Throne Hall), the Gallery, the Library Hall, the Hall of Arms and the Appartment of the Cardinal.

The second most important monument of the city is the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo. It was erected in Romanesque style by Lombard architects over a temple of Hercules. It was variously rebuilt from the sixteenth century on, and was heavily damaged in 1944 by Allied bombs. The notable Gothic belfry is from the first half of the fourteenth century, and shows influence of Senese artists. The church houses the sarcophagus of Pope John XXI and the picture Christ Blessing by Gerolamo da Cremona (1472).

Built originally in Romanesque forms, it has been modified in the subsequent centuries. The actual front dates back to 1570, while the Gothic -Tuscan campanile with its four rows of double double-windows dates back to 1368. The three-aisled interior with the columns with magnificent capitals and the finely decorated beamed ceiling is very airy. In the nave you find the rests of a Cosmatesque pavement. In the right aisle there is a marble font of 1470 by Maestro Francesco di Ancona. In the apse of the left aisle, you find a painting of Byzantine school of approx. 1195 representing the Madonna della Carbonara, taken from the homonymous Mother Church of the Knights of the Order of Saint-John-of-Jerusalem, and remains of frescoes of 1290. Past the entrance to the Baroque furnished sacristy, there is a painting ascribed to the Mantegna("Il Salvatore", 1472) and towards the exit, remains of 14th century frescoes and the tomb of John XXI, died tragically in Viterbo in 1277 and mentioned by Dante in his Paradise. John XXI has been by the way the only Portuguese Pope in history.

The Museo Civico (City Museum) houses many archeological specimens from the pre-historical to Roman times, plus a Pinacoteca (gallery) with paintings of Sebastiano del Piombo, Antoniazzo Romano, Salvator Rosa, Antiveduto Grammatica and others.

Rocca Albornoz, also called Rocca del Papa, greatly destroyed by the bombings in 1944 and since then renovated, the imposing building had been erected by Cardinal Albornoz, who died in Viterbo in 1367. The Rocca Albornoz houses the Museo Nazionale and a great permanent exhibition on the Etruscan and domestic architecture.

The Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista in Zoccoli was built in the 11th century, because of the poverty of the parish, it has not been modified substantially. The front which leans on two perpendicular arches, is rather characteristic. It has a 16th century portal with a painted lunette and a beautiful rose-window. In the interior, there are various frescoes and a precious polyptych of 1441 by the Viterbese painter Francesco d'Antonio, called the Balletta.


 
Cathedral of San Lorenzo
     
   
   

 

Events


The transport of the Macchina di Santa Rosa takes place every year, on September 3, at 9 o'clock in the evening. The Macchina is an artistic illuminated bell-tower with an imposing height of 30 m. It weighs between 3.5 and 5 tonnes and is made of iron, wood and papier-mâché. At the top of the tower, the statue of the Patron Saint is enthusiastically acclaimed by the people in the streets of the town centre, where lights are turned off for the occasion.

One hundred Viterbesi men (known as the Facchini) carry the Macchina from Porta Romana through the major streets of Viterbo, concluding with a strenuous ascension up to the Piazza di Santa Rosa, its final resting place. Each Macchina has a life span of five years, after which a new one is built.

Festival Barocco

Throughout the years what was once a small chamber music festival has grown and blossomed into a top-class event that spreads over the whole Tuscia region from mid-summer well into the autumn. Concerts take place in Tuscania, in Montalto di Castro, in Celleno’s Castello Orsini, in the Duomo di Nepi, in the church of St Francis in Capranica, in the church of St Flaviano in Montefiascone, and of course, in various Viterbo venues.


Free Hot springs and Piscine Carletti

 

Viterbo and its surrounding areas are rich with hot springs, known since ancient times for their therapeutic properties. The Romans built proper Spas here, magnificent structures whose remains can still be admired nowadays. Abandoned during the Barbarian invasions, they became popular again towards the middle of the XI century and during the Middle Ages some illustrious personalities - such as the Popes Boniface IX, Nicholas V and Cardinal Bessarione - sojourned here.
Today, the main thermal springs are Bullicame, Piscine Carletti, Bagnaccio and Masse di San Sisto: to access some of them a small membership fee is required, the others are completely free.

 

 
   
   
Just outside the city center of Viterbo there are the famous Thermal Baths of the Popes and the spring of "Bullicame", mentioned in canto XIV in Dante's Inferno, which feeds the big swimming pool of the "Terme dei Papi" and various other "pools". Other springs in the nearby, all belonging to the basin of the "Bullicame" flow other "pools" scattered in the surrounding countryside.
In the immediate vicinity of Viterbo there is the Etruscan necropolis of Castel d'Asso and only nine kilometers far the ruins of the "civitas splendidissima" of Ferento with its Roman theatre.
Ferento was destroyed by the rival Viterbese in the 1100s. Not much remains except the well preserved theater and the foundations of some Roman baths. This hilltop, which once held an Etruscan and then wealthy Roman city, was reduced to rubble.
Performances and concerts are still held in the amphitheatre.
Ferento can be reached following Viterbo-Bagnoregio provincial road, turning at km 7.

 
Celleno is located in the eastern part of the Tuscia area of Viterbo. The old village lays on a 476-metres-high green hill on which you can notice a fascinating medieval castle, Castello Orsini. Also in Celleno you can visit the medieval abbey and church rich in artistic masterpieces.
The old hamlet is by now uninhabited and it is located on the top of the hill, a little far from the new Celleno. The old hamlet consists mainly of small red tuff houses, without plaster, for the most part in ruins, because they were abandoned after the disastrous earthquakes that caused great damage to the village. Some finds testify the presence of the first settlements dating back to the 13th century B.C., but probably the area was already inhabited in the Neolitic age as it is proved by the finding of stone weapons dating back to that period. Celleno is located in a strategic position and being on the road for Viterbo , it was invaded by the Romans that seized it in 264 B.C. throwing the Etruscans out. Later it was attacked and sacked by the Goths, the Longobards and the Byzantines.
The little church of San Rocco holds several eighteenth-century canvases (Our Lady of the Rosary and a Crucifixion) and a fifteenth century wooden crucifix.


Castle Orsini

Among the numerous attractions are the ruins of a medieval castle Orsini, and annual celebrations of the Cherries Festival called Festa delle Ciliegie and the Crucifix Day. The name Celleno comes from a Latin Word cella – a cell, which means a hollow. In a number of documents and also in the frescos of the geographical map halls of the Vatican Museum the town appears as Celleum.
Unlike the historical centre, the imposing building seems to have passed unharmed through the terrible telluric shocks that have threatened the hamlet several times and it shows its majestic grandeur.

East of Celleno are Grotte Santo Stefano and Castello di Montecalvello.




 


Celleno


La chiesetta di Santa Maria di Montecalvello (San Rocco)

Fresco in the chiesetta di Santa Maria di Montecalvello


Bomarzo is a small town, located near Viterbo on the road to Orta.
It is the Orsini family's hereditary fief. The Castle rises at the edge of this small town.

The residence's gardens were created by Vicino Orsini, the Duke of Bomarzo. He was born in 1528 and died in 1588. An educated humanist, he was interested in the Arts and was their patron. He devoted his life to the happiness of his House and his wife, Julia Farnese. After Julia Farnese's death, he created the plan for this garden.
He didn't call this garden a giardino, but Bosco Sacro, a Sacred Grove or Bosco dei Monstri, the Monsters' grove. Monster must be understood in the Latin meaning of monstrare, which means to show and demonstrate. This then means that from stop to stop, from stage to stage, each element is a component of an immense, very neoplatonic poem to his lost love. To create this garden, he called on one of the greatest landscapers and architects of his time, Pirro Ligorio.

All the Italian princes came to visit, as did innumerable foreign travelers. Unfortunately, as with most of the Renaissance gardens, the work was neglected.

When it was revisited in the beginning of this century, it was overgrown with trees, everything was half collapsed, all of which merely gave the garden an even more fantastic aspect. It was at this time that André Pieyre de Mandiargue visited and wrote a sublime treatise on the sleeping garden of Bomarzo.
Salvador Dali and Cocteau, the surrealists, discussed it at great length.
[Source: Fondation Jacques-Edouard Berger | www.bergerfoundation.ch]

Gardens in Italy | Il parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo (English)

Vanished splendors. A Memoir. By Balthus as told to Alain Vircondelet.
Translated by Benjamin Ivry, 237 pp. New York: Ecco/HarperCollinsPublishers.

Lazio Nascosto | Borghi, paesi e luoghi incantevoli del Lazio | La città perduta di Celleno - Celleno


 

L'Orco classico



Il parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo

Villa Lante at Bagnaia is a Mannerist garden of surprise near Viterbo, attributed to Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola.

The villa is known as the Villa Lante. However, it did not become known as this until the villa was passed to Ippolito Lante Montefeltro della Rovere, Duke of Bomarzo, in the 7th century, when it was already 100 years old.

Since the 13th century, Bagnaia had been the personal fief of the bishops of Viterbo. The Villa Lante was thus not created by lay princes such as Orsini or Gonzagues, but by men of the Church: the Villa Lante is the work of two bishops of Viterbo who succeeded each other on the city's episcopal throne.
The first was Gian Francesco Gambarra, the second, Alessandro Montalto.
Construction of the villa commenced in 1566 by the Cardinal Gianfracesco Gambara on the site of a hunting park. The name Gambara is similar to the Italian word for crayfish and became the families emblem.

The gardens of the Villa Lante features cascades to fountains and dripping grottoes. The visual and harmonious choreography of water and the mechanical perfection of its flow was only achieved after Tommaso Ghinucci, a hydraulics engineer and architect from Siena, was called in; it is thought that his role was to oversee the hydraulics and building work.[2] Although the renowned antiquarian and architect Pirro Ligorio was also consulted, it seems likely that the success of the water features is due to Ghinucci's expertise which ensured that water lives and flows through the gardens to this day.

Gardens in Italy | Villa Lante
 


Villa Lante at Bagnaia

 

     

Villa Lante at Bagnaia



Located on the outskirts of Castiglioncello Bandini, in a hilly and unspoilt land, Podere Santa Pia is an artistic property, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the splendor of the Maremma hills of southern Tuscany. Watch the thermal baths in Saturnia on your way to Viterbo, marvel at settlements that date back to Etruscan times and explore the medieval hillside villages of Sorano, Sovana, Montemerano and Pitigliano, cities where the refined beauty of the squares and churches blends perfectly with the ancient traditions of its wines and exquisite cuisine.

Hidden secrets in Tuscany | Holiday home Podere Santa Pia

 

Tuscan Maremma

Spectacular panoramic scenery in Podere Santa Pia, with views that stretch all the way to the Mediterranean sea and the islands of Montecristo and Corsica (view from the terrace in November)


 

 

Communities of the Province Viterbo | Acquapendente · Arlena di Castro · Bagnoregio · Barbarano Romano · Bassano Romano · Bassano in Teverina · Blera · Bolsena · Bomarzo · Calcata · Canepina · Canino · Capodimonte · Capranica · Caprarola · Carbognano · Castel Sant'Elia · Castiglione in Teverina · Celleno · Cellere · Civita Castellana · Civitella d'Agliano · Corchiano · Fabrica di Roma · Faleria · Farnese · Gallese · Gradoli · Graffignano · Grotte di Castro · Ischia di Castro · Latera · Lubriano · Marta · Montalto di Castro · Monte Romano · Montefiascone · Monterosi · Nepi · Onano · Oriolo Romano · Orte · Piansano · Proceno · Ronciglione · San Lorenzo Nuovo · Soriano nel Cimino · Sutri · Tarquinia · Tessennano · Tuscania · Valentano · Vallerano · Vasanello · Vejano · Vetralla · Vignanello · Villa San Giovanni in Tuscia · Viterbo · Vitorchiano