Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo




Archipelago Toscano




Badia di Coltibuono

Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa


Bolsena Lake


Brunello di Montalcino




Castel del Piano



Castellina in Chianti


Castelnuovo Bererdenga

Castiglioncello Bandini

Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione d'Orcia

Castiglion Fiorentino



Chinaciano Terme




Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio

Colle Val d'Elsa


Crete Senesi

Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba



Gaiole in Chianti



Greve in Chianti


Lago Trasimeno

La Foce



Massa Marittima

Montagnola Senese


Monte Amiata

Monte Argentario





Monte Oliveto Maggiore








Parco Naturale della Maremma







Radda in Chianti



San Bruzio

San Casciano dei Bagni

San Galgano

San Gimignano

San Giovanni d'Asso

San Quirico d'Orcia


Santa Fiora














Tavernelle Val di Pesa

Torrita di Siena




Val d'Elsa

Val di Merse

Val d'Orcia

Valle d'Ombrone




Walking in Tuscany

album Surroundings


The area of modern Acquapendente was settled by Etruscans and Roman times, as findings have showed. The name of the city, meaning Pending Water, stems from the presence of several small waterfalls forming the Paglia, a stream setting the boundary between Lazio and Tuscany, although the border was set a few miles to the north of the river.
in 1449 Acquapendente became an independent town within the Papal State. The settlement flourished after the destruction of Castro, the town gained a Bishop Palace and it increased the importance of city to the Church and the Pope. In 1535 Hierolimus Fabrici, a famous anatomist, was born in Acquapendente.
Main sights are the Watch Tower, the only remained of the Barbarossa Castle of 11th century, the Julia de Jacopo Tower, the Cathedral of San Sepolcro, that contains a stone from Gerusalemme wet by Jesus blood, Chiesa di San Francesco dedicated to the Saint, although it's been built before, the Church of Saint Augustine (16th century).

The most significant monument in Acquapendente is the Cathedral of San Sepolcro. The cathedral was constructed around the year 1000 over the votive chapel that Matilda of Westphalia ordered built with the same dimensions as Christ's sepulchre. Consecrated in 1149 and reconstructed several times, it was given the title of cathedral in 1649. Following damage during World War II, much of it was rebuilt based on the plans of Vincenzo Fasolo. Inside the cathedral is the noteworthy altarpiece in the right transept, a work in enamelled terracotta by Jacopo Beneventano (1522) portraying the Eternal Father worshipped by angels; the wooden choir (1685-1688) in the apse is attributed to artist Matteo Tedesco. The chapel of St. Hermes venerates the memory of the patron saint, depicted by a wax statue. There is a lovely fourteenth-century baptismal font under the presbytery, between the two entry stairs. Of great interest is also the crypt of nine naves supported by 22 columns, below which there is a local (sacellum) preserving the column of Christ's flagellation and parts of the Jerusalem tribunal.

The tower of Julia di Jacopo, located near the church, marks the remains of the fortress built by Arrigo IV ( currently used as a cultural and welcome centre). The clock tower (also known as Barbarossa's tower) in the uppermost part of town was part of the imperial castle that was held by the Swabians for many years.
The Chiesa di San Francesco, built in 1149, houses many paintings and frescoes, a finely carved Gothic-style portal and inside an invaluable wooden crucifix of the 13th century.
The Pieve di Santa Vittoria with a wooden statue of the della Madonna del Fiore, made according to traditions form the chestnut tree of the miracle. Every third Sunday of May there is the Festa dei Pugnaloni to celebrate the Festa della Madonna del Fiore. [read more]

Inside the Cattedrale del Santo Sepolcro, built in the 11th-12th century, but later modified in Baroque style, there is an amazing crypt (Cripta) of the 10th century of nine aisles, supported by 22 stone columns with rich capitals, built on a previous chapel of the same size than that of the Holy Sepulchre. This is one of the most important Romanesque crypts in Italy and dates back to the second half of the tenth century when Acquapendente, situated on the Via Francigena, became a stopping place for pilgrims heading to Rome.

Museo del Fiore
, 5 Km from the town, hosted in an ancient farmhouse called Casale Giardino. The museum visit proceeds as a narration through pictures, panels, miniatures and computer systems, with also a lab to create little flower models. A section is also devoted to the history behind the tradition of the Pugnaloni.
In remembrance of this much longed for rebellion, the community decreed to have a big festival every year in the middle of May.

Acquapendente is famous for the Festa dei Pugnaloni, a festival of pugnaloni: beautiful mosaics made out of petals, flowers and leaves, a folklore element of the festival of the Madonna del Fiore (Madonna of the Flower).
This is how the liberation, with the help of the Pontifical Army, from Frederic I Barbarossa is commemorated.
The Festa dei Pugnaloni is a festival which takes place in the Lazio region of Italy each May. In preparation for the festival, the local community constructs banners with scenes made entirely of flower petals and other natural materials. Competition between groups of banner-makers is fierce and there is great excitement when the banners are revealed at festival time. [read more]

The Monte Rufeno Natural Reserve, 2 km north to the city, has secular woods housing wildlife including, among the others, boars, eagle owls, turtles and beech martens. It starts at an altitude of 200 meters above sea level (at the Paglia river) and goes up to an altitude of 700 meters (Mount Rufeno).

Comune Montefiascone | Piazza Largo Plebiscito - Montefiascone


Cathedral of San SepolcroCathedral of San Sepolcro, abside


Collegiata del Santo Sepolcro, cripta Collegiata del Santo Sepolcro, crypt


The clock tower, also known as
Barbarossa's tower



In January 1845 Charles Dickens travelled to Rome along Via Cassia. in Pictures from Italy he gave an account of his arrival in Acquapendente.

It was a bad morning when we left Monte Pulciano; and we went, for twelve miles, over a country as barren, as stony, and as wild, as Cornwall in England, until we came to Radicofani, where there is a ghostly, goblin inn: once a hunting-seat, belonging to the Dukes of Tuscany. It is full of such rambling corridors, and gaunt rooms, that all the murdering and phantom tales that ever were written might have originated in that one house. (..) When we got to the mountain pass, which lies beyond this place, the wind (as they had forewarned us at the inn) was so terrific, that we were obliged to take my other half out of the carriage, lest she should be blown over, carriage and all, and to hang to it, on the windy side (as well as we could for laughing), to prevent its going, Heaven knows where. For mere force of wind, this land-storm might have competed with an Atlantic gale, and had a reasonable chance of coming off victorious. (..) There was snow, and hail, and rain, and lightning, and thunder; and there were rolling mists, travelling with incredible velocity. It was dark, awful, and solitary to the last degree; there were mountains above mountains, veiled in angry clouds; and there was such a wrathful, rapid, violent, tumultuous hurry, everywhere, as rendered the scene unspeakably exciting and grand. It was a relief to get out of it, notwithstanding; and to cross even the dismal dirty Papal Frontier (after which we arrived at Acquapendente).
Radicofani Pass was known as a dangerous place because brigands took advantage of its remoteness from towns to assault pilgrims on their route to Rome.

Proceno, about 3 miles to the North, is a small village of Etruscan origin with the fine Sforza Palace and a medieval citadel, Castello di Proceno. The fortress was restored and fortified during the papacy of Hadrian IV. This rectangular estate has three towers that are united by a crenellated outer wall. The Gothic church of San Martino preserves three frescoes dating to the fourteenth-fifteenth century and attributed to the school of Pietro Lorenzetti. The parish church of Santissimo Salvatore has several fourteenth-century frescoes.
In the open countryside not far from Proceno, we can admire the little church of Madonna del Giglio, built during the first half of the sixteenth century over a previous fourteenth-century aedicule. On the walls, there are fragments of frescoes done by the Zuccari school. The village of Centeno is located near Proceno. It was the site of the pontifical customs house until l870. In 1625, Galileo Galilei stayed there for about 20 days on his way to Rome to go before the Holy Office.


Castello di Proceno

The Castello di Proceno is a 12th century fortress built to protect the ancient hamlet. The surrounding region is full of Etruscan, Medieval and Renaissance monuments that testify to the presence of ancient civilizations. The castle is a rare example of a medieval fortification surviving in its original state. Its pentagonal base incorporates a main tower and two secondary towers interconnected by walkways and a drawbridge. The complex includes a fort that is attached to one side of the castle by the town's defensive walls.


Torre Alfina

Castello di Torre Alfina and garden

Torre Alfina is a medieval picturesque village in the Acquapendente community.
The village rose in the Early Middle Ages around an ancient turret placed on the top of the Alfina plateau. The history of Torre Alfina coincides with the history of its castle. Torre Alfina is built around a castle that once belonged to the Monaldeschi and Bourbon del Monte families until it was purchased by Edoardo Cahen in 1880. The central tower (Cassero) was built by the Lombard king Desiderius.
With the expansion of the village, the original fortress was fortified with a second ring of walls made of bastions, walls of houses and many gateways. Two of these gates disappeared with the renovation works of Marquis Cahen, while Porta Vecchia is still visible. The palace was built near the tower; and was the home to the successive Lords.

The Monaldeschi Palace was renovated by Edward Cahen. Various parts of the village were involved and completely transformed, such as the area that faces the entrance ramp to the castle or the one overlooking Piazza Sant'Angelo, which is occupied by a roof garden and by the entrance staircase. This colossal work, which carried on until the end of the 1920’s, was assigned to the architect Giuseppe Partini from Siena.
Edward Cahen never managed to see the castle finished but he wanted to be buried, in a mausoleum built in the same neo-Gothic style as the castle, covered in basalt and refined with travertine that was in the forest-garden, that he had made accessible with paths constructed among the rocks, of the Sasseto. [read more]

Rodolfo Teofilo, Edward's son, completed this work by furnishing the castle with great refinement and style and by creating a large garden above the forest.

This dream was interrupted by the advent of Nazism, racial laws and then by the war. In fact the castle first became the headquarters of the Germans and then was plundered.
The marquis fled and died in Paris, leaving everything to Urbano Papilloud, the butler, who lived sporadically in Torre Alfina and finally moved to Geneva with his wife.

Torre Alfina itself is a small village, with little more than 450 inhabitants and besides the majestic beauty of its legendary castle, it offers several excursionists itineraries like the mountain-bike trails Allerona – Parco delle Selva di Meana in Umbria or San Casciano Bagni – Val d’Orcia in Tuscany.
The Castle of the frazione Trevinano is known from the 12th century.


Torre Alfina

Allerona is a picturesque hill town in the mountains 19 km northwest of Orvieto.
Remains of the feudal castle of Allerona include the ruins of the old walls, the two gates known as del Sole and della luna. Architectural monuments are few: ruins of a 12c castle, the 15c church of S. Maria dell' Acqua; although just outside the town proper, there are remains of a Roman aqueduct. Villalba and the Selva di Meana, bordering with Tuscany, are the two most interesting tourist areas. The former has a well-equipped public park while the latter has the state-owned park with Villa Cahen, in Art Nouveau style, and the hidden jewel in the center of the Park. In the marvellous gardens you can find various and rare arboreal and herbaceous species. [read more]


Villa Cahen, garden
Selva di Meana Park – Allerona  
Part of the Mountain Community of Mount Peglia, it stretches for 2,500 hectares. The vegetation is rich and includes, as well as woods and Mediterranean bush, several species of wild orchids. The Villalba park and Villa Cahen are located here.  


The Monte Rufeno Natural Reserve, established in 1983, is part of the protected areas system of Lazio. It covers a surface of 2.892 hectares in, at the border with Umbria and Tuscany.

I Sentieri di Monte Rufeno

  Il Sentiero dei Briganti

Il Sentiero Natura del Fiore

Sentiero escursionistico "La Scialimata"

Sentiero escursionistico "Monte Rufeno"

Sentiero escursionistico "Acquachiara"

Sentiero escursionistico equestre "La Fonte"

Sentiero escursionistico "Fossatello"

Sentiero ciclabile Coppi

Sentiero ciclabile Girardengo

Sentiero ciclabile Bartali | Itineraries

The Selva di Meana Park is adjacent to the Natural Reserve of Mount Rufero of which it repeats the environmental characteristics. The poorly inhabited territory is crossed by many marked and scheduled nature walks. Among these, the Anello di Allerona (Allerona Ring) which crosses the entire territory of the park.

  Parco di Monte Peglia e Selva di Meana (S.T.I.N.A) - Full screen interactive map |


The Selva of Meana Trail

Departure: Meana
Duration: 5 hour/s
Difficulty Level: E - Hiking (level)
Length: 12.8 km
Map full screen

  Villalba Trail

Departure: Villalba
Duration: 5 hour/s
Difficulty Level: E - Hiking (level)
Length: 13.4 km
Map full screen
  Elmo Trail

Departure: S. Faustino
Duration: 7 hour/s 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: E - Hiking (level)
Length: 17.6 km
Map full screen

  Trail of the 'Devil's Lairs'

Departure: Parrano
Duration: 4 hour/s 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: EEA - For expert hikers with equipment
Length: 9.0 km
Map full screen

  The Great Trail of Orvieto (GAO)

Departure: Orvieto
Duration: 11 days
Difficulty Level: E - Hiking (level)
Length: 168.2 km
Map full screen

  Carta dei sentieri
Regione dell'Umbria e S.T.I.N.A, Editore: Monte Meru Editrice, 2008, Scala: 1:50.000

Torre Alfina and Trevinano are frazioni of Acquapendente.
Acquapendente borders Allerona, Castel Giorgio, Castel Viscardo, Grotte di Castro, Onano, Proceno, San Casciano dei Bagni, San Lorenzo Nuovo and Sorano.

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

Enlarge map Aquapendente

Acquapendente rises on the Francigena way, an important road that allowed the small town to grow up. During XVIth century in Acquependente were built the most beautiful domes and palaces on the main road and on the square, such as Fidi Palace, Viscontini Palace, the Bishop Palace. There are three intereting three itineraries: a Medieval one, another of the Renaissance, and the one of Quintaluna.

  1) Cripta S. Sepolcro

2) Chiesa S. Giovanni

3) Chiesa S. Francesco

4) Monastero S. Chiara

5) Chiesa S. Vittoria

6) Chiesa S. Agostino

7) Torre Julia De Jacopo




1) Palazzo Vescovile

2) Chiesa S. Caterina

3) Fonte del Rigombo

4) Palazzo Benci-Caterini

5) Palazzo Comunale

6) Palazzo Piccioni

7) Palazzo Costantini

8) Fonte della Rugarella

9) Chiesa S. Lorenzo

10) Ospedale Civile

11) Palazzo Viscontini

12) Casa di Riposo

13) Torre del Barbarossa

14) Cattedrale S. Sepolcro


The municipalities of the towns of Acquapendente and Bolsena (located at the border between Latium and Tuscany) have restored (for pedestrians only) the old Via Cassia where it diverges from the current one. Via Francigena walks have become very popular among the residents and the many foreigners who live in the area.


Beginning from the Julia de Jacopo Tower, going along the Quintaluna torrent, walking the S. Leonardo-Acquaviva road, it is possible to enjoy completely unique landscapes and alleys going through the ancient part of the town.
The torrent is called Quintaluna because of two reasons: the first one is related to the time employed from pilgrims to reach Rome from Acquapendente (5 days/nights) by feet; the other reason is coming from a deformation of the latin “gens quintilian”.


Festa dei Pugnaloni

The festival takes place between Saturday and Sunday. It is a festival of pugnaloni: beautiful mosaics made out of petals, flowers and leaves, a folklore element of the festival of the Madonna del Fiore (Madonna of the Flower). The word 'Pugnalone' resembles that of 'Pugnale', meaning a 'large dagger', conjuring up an image of a fight of some sort. The origin of the festival can in fact be traced back to 1166, when the Italian States were prey to different invaders. At the time the northern part of Lazio, where Rome lies, was being contested between the Papal power and that of the Emperor Federico Barbarossa. Under the latter's rule, conditions were extremely bad and in the town of Acquapendente the peasants were feeling particularly oppressed.

As tradition would have it, this event originated in 1166 when Acquapendente was ruled by one of Barbarossa’s tyrants.
According to this tradition, the victorious revolt arose from an extraordinary event which was announced to the people of Acquapendente by two farmers. Legend has it that one day some peasants working the land observed how a cherry tree seemed to have died for no reason. They compared that to their own life, which seemed doomed due to the terrible conditions they suffered. The sudden miraculous flowering of the cherry tree was welcomed as a divine sign from the Madonna, giving the local population the strength and enthusiasm to rebel, as a sign to take up arms and fight against the tyranny of the Emperor. The population rose up and drove out the ruler, destroying his castle.
To commemorate this event, ribbons were once tied to the “pugnoli (wooden sticks) used to drive oxen and to fight enemies. Today, they have become “pugnaloni”, which are enormous mosaics that are composed mainly of flowers whit a images about freedom. The pugnaloni (about twenty in all), are created the night before by groups of young people divided based on the city quarters. Late in the afternoon on the first Sunday after 15th May, there is a procession to bring them from the cathedral of Santo Sepolcro to the Palazzo Comunale.
The Pugnaloni represent in an original way the universal theme of freedom which wins against every form of oppression.


Podere Santa Pia is an authentic holiday home in Castiglioncello Bandini, a small village in the Maremma, in the south of Tuscany, situated half way between Florence and Rome and close to Montalcino, Arcidosso and Monte Amiata. The house and the apartment of Podere Santa Pia are the ideal place for couples who want to relax in tranquility. Set on a hill in the lush Tuscan countryside, Podere Santa Pia overlooks nearby medieval hilltop towns, vineyards, and olive groves, and, in the distance, the Tyrrhenian Sea with the islands of Montecristo and Corsica in the distance.

The hidden secrets of southern Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia | Artist and writer's residency


Spoleto, duomo

Castiglioncello Bandini

Il parco dei Mostri in Bomarzo





Maremma seashore
Podere Santa Pia, situated in a particularly scenic valley, which overlooks on the hills around Cinigiano,
up to the Maremma seashore and Montecristo