Viterbo is located in central Italy, in Lazio. Just two hours by train from Rome and you’ll reach this amazing town and the ticket cost no more than € 5. The historical city center, surrounded by high walls, dates from a century and is one of the best preserved in this part of Italy. Outskirts of the city is modern – new buildings, offices and universities.
Legend has it that the founder of Viterbo is Hercules, and therefore a symbol of the city is the lion. It is believed that one of the main attractions – Cathedral of San Lorenzo was built on an Etruscan temple worship exactly Hercules.
Patron Saint of the city is Saint Rose. Viterbians have a tradition every September 3rd to carry tower called Macchina di Santa Rosahigh – 30 meters high. Thats how they worship the Saint. Today ther body is in the church of Santa Maria della Rosa. Every five years, there is a competition for the construction of this tower. The conditions – have to be 28 meters high, measured from the shoulders of person who carries it, not weighing more than 5 tons and has a broad maximum of 4.3 meters. During the years, various designs and shapes changed, the artist used different materials for the construction of the statue. In 2009 the competition was won by a statue called celestial color and this is the one that you will see if you go to Viterbo today.
The main landmark is the Pope Palace – a building that served as the residence of the Popes – columns which support the building are the foundations of an ancient temple. You can visit also the Archaeological Museum, where you will see ertuski remains. But I think if you are interested in Etruscan history more interesting will be to visit the Etruscan necropolis, near Viterbo. For more information ask at the entrance of the museum.
Like every Italian city, in Viterbo also therea are many fountains. One of the most impressive is the fountain of lions, so named because the four figures of lions that guard it. Dates back centuries. The oldest is the Fontana Grande, which is located at a square with the same name. These and other sights you can see in Viterbo – churches, parks, galleries. In fact, the whole area is known for its rich history and monuments preserved to this days. No more than ten kilometers away is well preserved medieval theather – More information about the ancient city Ferento you can read here, on this site you can find a lot fo info about Viterbo, so to plan your trip by yourself.
But do not forget to take some free time. In Vitebro you can visit a lot of nice restaurants, cafes and bars. In the city there are a lot of young people who you will see having good time at the city center in Friday night. Many of them prefer instead of siting in the restourants, to be outside with a glass in his hand and communicate with their friends. In one November evening in Italy, I did exactly the same. I do not know whether I will have the opportunity to go back there soon, but I will always keep warm memories of Viterbo in my heart ..
Text by Neli
Photos by Neli