|Comune di Viterbo|
|Frazioni||Bagnaia, Fastello, Grotte Santo Stefano, La Quercia, Montanciano, Montecalvello, Monterazzano, Sant'Angelo, San Martino al Cimino, Vallebona|
|• Mayor||Giovanni Arena|
|• Total||406.23 km2 (156.85 sq mi)|
|Elevation||326 m (1,070 ft)|
|• Density||170/km2 (430/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||Saint Rose of Viterbo and St. Lawrence the Martyr|
|Saint day||4 September; 10 August|
Viterbo (pronounced [viˈtɛrbo] (
It conquered and absorbed the neighboring town of Ferento (see Ferentium) in its early history. It is approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of GRA (Rome) on the Via Cassia, and it 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. Entrance to the walled center of the city is through ancient gates.
Apart from agriculture, the main resources of Viterbo's area are pottery, marble, and wood. The town is home to the Italian gold reserves, an important Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Tuscia, and the Italian Army's Aviation Command headquarters and training centre. It is located in a wide thermal area, attracting many tourists from the whole of central Italy.
The first report of the new city dates to the eighth century AD, when it is identified as Castrum Viterbii. It was fortified in 773 by the Lombard King Desiderius in his vain attempt to conquer Rome. When the popes switched to the Frankish support, Viterbo became part of the Papal States, but this status was to be highly contested by the emperors in the following centuries, until in 1095 it is known it was a free comune.
In a period in which the popes had difficulties asserting their authority over Rome, Viterbo became their favourite residence, beginning with Pope Eugene III (1145–1146) who was besieged in vain in the city walls. In 1164, Frederick Barbarossa made Viterbo the seat of his antipope Paschal III. Three years later he gave it the title of "city" and used its militias against Rome. In 1172, Viterbo started its expansion, destroying the old city of Ferento and conquering other lands. In this age it was a rich and prosperous comune, one of the most important of Central Italy, with a population of almost 60,000.
In 1207, Pope Innocent III held a council in the cathedral, but the city was later excommunicated as the favourite seat of the heretical Patarines and even defeated by the Romans. In 1210, however, Viterbo managed to defeat Emperor Otto IV and was again at war against Rome.
In the thirteenth century it was ruled alternately by the tyrants of the Gatti and Di Vico families. Frederick II drew Viterbo to the Ghibelline side in 1240, but when the citizens expelled his turbulent German troops in 1243 he returned and besieged the city, but in vain. From that point Viterbo was always a loyal Guelph city. Between 1257 and 1261 it was the seat of Pope Alexander IV, who also died there. His successor Urban IV was elected in Viterbo.
In 1266–1268, Clement IV chose Viterbo as the base of his ruthless fight against the Hohenstaufen. Here, from the loggia of the papal palace, he excommunicated the army of Conradin of Swabia which was passing on the Via Cassia, with the prophetical motto of the "lamb who is going to the sacrifice". Other popes elected in Viterbo were Gregory X (1271) and John XXI (1276) (who died in the papal palace when the ceiling of the recently built library collapsed on him while he slept), Nicholas III and the French Martin IV. The Viterbese, who did not agree with the election of a foreigner directed by the King of Naples, Charles I of Anjou, invaded the cathedral where the conclave was held, arresting two of the cardinals. They were subsequently excommunicated, and the popes avoided Viterbo for 86 years.
Without the popes, the city fell into the hands of the Di Vicos. In the fourteenth century, Giovanni di Vico had created a seignory extending to Civitavecchia, Tarquinia, Bolsena, Orvieto, Todi, Narni and Amelia. His dominion was crushed by Cardinal Gil de Albornoz in 1354, sent by the Avignonese popes to recover the Papal States, who built the castle. In 1375, the city gave its keys to Francesco Di Vico, son of the previous tyrant, but thirteen years later the people killed him and assigned the city first to Pope Urban VI, and then to Giovanni di Sciarra di Vico, Francesco's cousin. But Pope Boniface IX's troops drove him away in 1396 and established a firm papal suzerainty over the city. The last Di Vico to hold power in Viterbo was Giacomo, who was defeated in 1431.
Thenceforth Viterbo became a city of secondary importance, following the vicissitudes of the Papal States. In the 16th century it was the birthplace of Latino Latini. It became part of Italy in 1871.
Viterbo has two heraldic badges in its coat of arms (stemma in Italian), the Lion and the Palm Tree. The lion represents Hercules, one of the mythological founders of Viterbo. The palm tree was added sometime in the early Middle Ages (4th–9th century CE) when Viterbo conquered and absorbed the neighboring town of Ferento. The letters FAUL often surround the badges. It is unclear what they refer to. Some suggest the four legendary Etruscan nobles families, believed to be involved in the founding of the city, while others claim that they are in reference to the four hills of Viterbo.[ citation needed ]
Viterbo experiences a border line humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) and Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa) as only one summer month is below the 40 mm (1.6 in) precipitation limit.
|Climate data for Viterbo|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||0.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||56|
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. Viterbo is unique in Italy for its concentration of 'profferli', external staircases that were a frequent feature of medieval houses. The San Pellegrino quarter has an abundance of them, reflecting an architectural style that is unique to the town and the nearby region.
In the valley of the Arcione River just to the west of Viterbo are a number of springs celebrated for the healing qualities of their waters, and in use since Etruscan and Roman days.In fact, the imposing ruins of a great Roman bath are still to be seen and were drawn in plan and perspective by Renaissance artists including Giuliano da Sangallo, Michelangelo, and Vasari. One of the most famous were the thermal springs known as the "Bulicame", or bubbling place, whose reputation had even reached the ears of the exiled poet Dante Aligheri. Canto 14 (lines 79–81) of Dante's Inferno describes how:
Not far from the Bulicame, whose waters were apparently always taken in the open, is the Terme dei Papi (Bath of the Popes). Almost totally concealed within the structure of a modern luxury spa hotel are the remains of a Renaissance bath palace that attracted the attention of two popes.Actually, the origins of this bathing establishment date to the Middle Ages when it was known as the Bagno della Crociata (named either after a Crusader who supposedly discovered the spring or from a corruption of the Italian word for crutch). Early 15th-century documents describe a bath building that covered three distinct thermal springs all under one roof.
This bath house was transformed circa 1454 by the pope Nicholas V, who commissioned a bath palace (according to Nicholas's biographer, Gianozzo Manetti) "with such magnificence and with such expense that it was not only deemed suitable for a stay and salutary for the sick but seemed an edifice destined to have rooms fit for princes and for living regally." m in size with high towers at the corners of its southern façade. Located outside Viterbo, the spa would have been an easy target for assaults had the building not assumed a militant character, which also affirmed papal authority. Aside from the regal apartments described by Manedtti there were vaulted chambers at the lowest level to accommodate the patrons of the several thermal springs.A more precise description of Pope Nicholas' palace was described by the Viterbese chronicler Nicola della Tuccia in the 1470s, who stated the new Bagno del Papa as a battlemented building, resembling a fortress, about 30 x 20
Manetti and Vasari both named the Florentine architect and sculptor Bernardo Rossellino as the architect of the project in Viterbo.There is, however, no documentation or architectural evidence to connect Rossellino directly with the construction of the Bagno del Papa. To the contrary, Vatican payment records from 1454, preserved in the state archives in Rome, identify a stonemason from Lombardy, named Stefano di Beltrame, as the builder who "had done or was doing in the house ordered by the pope at the bagni della Grotta and Crociata of Viterbo."
Construction at the Bagno del Papa was continued on through the reigns of several popes after Nicholas V. The Vatican accounts mention of payments "for building done at the bath palace of Viterbo" during the reigns of Calixtus III, Paul II, and Sixtus IV. There also is evidence Pope Pius II was responsible for the addition of a western wing to the building.
Travelers' descriptions, etched views, and local guidebooks chronicle the fate of the Renaissance Bagno del Papa over the years and through several rebuildings resulting in a general assumption that most of the original 15th-century structure had vanished. A guide to Viterbo from 1911 does note that some remnants were still to be detected in basement piers and vaults. In operation as a thermal hospital in 1927, the building was blown up by retreating German forces in 1944.
Despite all the travails, much of the original Bagno del Papa built by Popes Nicholas V and Pius II survives, including the corner towers and the vaulted chambers where Renaissance patrons once bathed.
The Villa Lante, an example of Mannerist gardening, is located in the frazione of Bagnaia.
Viterbo became a centre of military aviation due to its proximity to Rome, especially after the opening of the Air Force base (now the Rome Viterbo Airport but still used for military purposes) during the 1930s. The Army Aviation Command headquarters and training school (Italian: Scuola marescialli dell'Aeronautica Militare) are both located there.
The Army's NCO training establishment (Italian: Scuola sottufficiali dell'Esercito Italiano) is also located in the city.
St. Rose is the patron saint of Viterbo. The legend of Santa Rosa is that she helped to eradicate those few who supported the emperors instead of the popes, around 1250. Saint Lawrence is the male patron saint.
The transport of the Macchina di Santa Rosa takes place every year, on 3 September, 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 each of the major streets of Viterbo to seven churches to be blessed, concluding with a strenuous ascension up to the Piazza di Santa Rosa, its final resting place. Each Macchina's lifespan differs, but contests for a new design are held every few years.
The Rome Viterbo Airport was opened in 1936 as part of Viterbo Air Force Base, located 3 kilometres (2 miles) from the town. On 26 November 2007, Italian transport minister Alessandro Bianchi announced that Viterbo had been chosen as the site of the next airport in Lazio to serve Rome. However, in 2013 those plans were abandoned. Viterbo is served by regional trains departing from Station Ostiense, Trastevere, S. Pietro and sometimes at Termini in Rome. Porta Romana is the station serving the old city center.
The city is home to the University of Tuscia, established in 1979. It is also the city where students of School Year Abroad's Italy program study, their school housed in a 16th-century palazzo on Via Cavour.
Viterbo is twinned with:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Viterbo .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Viterbo .|
Bernardo di Matteo del Borra Gamberelli, better known as Bernardo Rossellino, was an Italian sculptor and architect, the elder brother of the sculptor Antonio Rossellino. As a member of the second generation of Renaissance artists, he helped to further define and popularize the revolution in artistic approach that characterized the new age.
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, also known as Antonio da San Gallo, was an Italian architect active during the Renaissance, mainly in Rome and the Papal States.
Valentano is a town and comune of the province of Viterbo, in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is 33 kilometres (21 mi) from the provincial capital, Viterbo.
The Farnese family was an influential family in Renaissance Italy. The titles of Duke of Parma and Piacenza and Duke of Castro were held by various members of the family.
The Palazzo della Cancelleria is a Renaissance palace in Rome, Italy, situated between the present Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Campo de' Fiori, in the rione of Parione. It was built 1489–1513 by Donato Bramante (1444–1514) as a palace for Cardinal Raffaele Riario, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, and is regarded as the earliest Renaissance palace in Rome. The Palazzo houses the Papal Chancellery, is an extraterritorial property of the Holy See, and is designated as a World Heritage Site.
Vetralla is a town and comune in the province of Viterbo, in central Italy, 11 kilometres (7 mi) south of that city, located on a shoulder of Monte Fogliano.
Pienza is a town and comune in the province of Siena, Tuscany, in the historical region of Val d'Orcia. Situated between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, it is considered the "touchstone of Renaissance urbanism".
Ronciglione is a city and comune in the province of Viterbo, Lazio, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Viterbo. The city is located in the Cimini mountains, over two tuff scarps, on the SE slope of the former volcano crater now housing the Lake Vico.
Palazzo dei Papi is a palace in Viterbo, northern Latium, Italy. It is one of the most important monuments in the city, situated alongside the Duomo di Viterbo. The Papal Curia was removed to Viterbo in 1257 by Alexander IV, due to the hostility of the Roman commune and constant urban violence: the former bishop's palace of Viterbo was enlarged to provide the Popes with an adequate residence. The construction, commissioned by the Capitano del popolo Raniero Gatti, provided a great audience hall communicating with a loggia raised on a barrel vault above the city street. It was completed probably around 1266.
Viterbo Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and the principal church of the city of Viterbo, Lazio, central Italy. It is the seat of the Bishop of Viterbo and is dedicated to Saint Lawrence.
Capranica is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Viterbo in the Italian region Lazio, located about 55 kilometres (34 mi) northwest of GRA, 66 kilometres (41 mi) from Rome’s centre, and 24.5 kilometres (15.2 mi) southeast of NOT CRAPA in local dialect but CAPRÀViterbo.
Anguillara were a baronial family of Latium, especially powerful in Rome and in the current province of Viterbo during the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance.
Andrea di Cristoforo Bregno (1418–1506) was an Italian sculptor and architect of the Early Renaissance who worked in Rome from the 1460s and died just as the High Renaissance was getting under way.
The Macchina of Santa Rosa is a 30-metre-high (98 ft) tower, which is rebuilt about every 5 years, in honor of Saint Rose of Viterbo, the patron saint of the city of Viterbo, Italy. Every year on the evening of 3 September 100 men called "Facchini di Santa Rosa" hoist the Macchina - weighing about 11,000 pounds - and carry it through the very narrow streets and squares of the medieval town centre. The whole route is a little bit more than 1 km (1 mi).
With a long history as a vantage point for anti-popes forces threatening Rome, Viterbo became a papal city in 1243. During the later thirteenth century, the ancient Italian city of Viterbo was the site of five papal elections and the residence of seven popes and their Curias, and it remains the location of four papal tombs. These popes resided in the Palazzo dei Papi di Viterbo alongside the Viterbo Cathedral intermittently for two decades, from 1257 to 1281; as a result, the papal palace in Viterbo, with that in Orvieto, are the most extensive thirteenth-century papal palaces to have survived.
Orvieto, Umbria, Italy, was the refuge of five popes during the 13th century: Urban IV (1261–1264), Gregory X (1271–1276), Martin IV (1281–1285), Nicholas IV (1288–1292) and Boniface VIII (1294–1303). During this time, the popes took up residence in the Papal Palace of Orvieto, which was adjacent to the Orvieto Cathedral and expanded onto the bishop's residence. None of these popes died in Orvieto, and thus no papal elections took place in there, nor are there any papal tombs.
Perugia was a long-time papal residence during the 13th century. Five popes were elected here: Pope Honorius III (1216–1227), Pope Clement IV (1265–1268), Pope Honorius IV (1285–1287), Pope Celestine V (1294), and Pope Clement V (1305–1314). These elections took place in the Palazzo delle Canoniche adjoining the Perugia Cathedral.
Via dei Coronari is a street in the historic center of Rome. The road, flanked by buildings mostly erected in the 15th and the 16th century, belongs entirely to the rione Ponte and is one of the most picturesque roads of the old city, having maintained the character of an Italian Renaissance street.
Borgo Nuovo, originally known as via Alessandrina, also named via Recta or via Pontificum, was a road in the city of Rome, Italy, important for historical and architectural reasons. Built by Pope Alexander VI Borgia for the holy year of 1500, the road became one of the main centers of the high Renaissance in Rome. Borgo Nuovo was demolished together with the surrounding quarter in 1936-37 due to the construction of Via della Conciliazione.