A land midst history and nature
The Viterbo Tuscia, a magical region where the beauty of a natural unspoilt environment blends with a rich historical, artistic, archaeological and religious heritage.
Ancient woods, hot springs and volcanic lakes are the background for Etruscan necropolis palaces, museums, ancient churches and medieval castles.
Located along the old "Via Francigena", Viterbo, a city of popes, is now a happy synthesis of amazing historical wealth and an exciting town built on a human scale, constantly changing.
The quaint old town, surrounded by beautiful completely preserved walls, is proud of its picturesque views of arches, beautiful fountains, ancient steps and medieval buildings.
The intricate and narrow streets of the old town open out onto impressive churches and squares that together represent the true jewels of the city.
It’s impossible not to mention the elegant Piazza Verdi with its nineteenth-century Union Theatre, the vast square Piazza Della Rocca on which stands the Rocca Albornoz and the famous Piazza San Lorenzo with its well known and spectacular Papal Palace, site of the first conclave in the history of the Church.
Of all the rich folkloric traditions of Viterbo, the transportation of the ‘Macchina’ of Santa Rosa is certainly the most anticipated event to which the city is deeply tied.
On the evening of 3rd September of each year, the city’s eyes are focused 30 meters up, where a statue of St. Rose tops an illuminated tower. One hundred men called ‘facchini’ carry this ‘macchina’ through the squares and streets and along the historic buildings in the centre of the town.
San Martino al Cimino, just 3 km from Viterbo, is a popular resort area on the slopes of Monti Cimini especially prized for its wonderfully cool climate even in summer, its rich woods, mushrooms and chestnuts, the impressive Cistercian Abbey and the favourable geographical position overlooking the city of Viterbo and the Maremma all the way to the sea.
The old medieval town of San Martino, which developed around the Abbey, was restored in the sixteenth century in the style of the time.
Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, appointed as Princess of San Martino by her brother-in-law Pope Innocent X, commissioned famous architects, such as Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, to create a model village.
In fact it was one of the first villages in history to be constructed based on a real urban plan.
The province of Viterbo, boasts a myriad of small villages, each with its own history and beauty; Bagnaia and its Renaissance Italian garden ‘Villa Lante’; the Roman amphitheatre at Ferento; the Etruscan necropolis of Vulci, Tarquinia and Tuscania and the charming ‘Cività’ of Bagnoregio, also known as ‘the dying city’.
To be found in the vicinity is also the town of Orvieto with its imposing cathedral; the unique monsters in the park of Bomarzo dating back to the Renaissance period; the Palazzo Farnese and Palazzo Doria Pamphili respectively found in Caprarola and San Martino al Cimino; Blera and Castel d’Asso with their Necropolis rock and Vitorchiano with its Moai originating from Easter Island.
There are many mysteries and stories which characterize the numerous forts in the area. Castle Monaldeschi in Bolsena, Castello Orsini in Soriano nel Cimino and Castle Odascalchi in Bracciano.
The old towns of Orvieto, Tuscania and Montefiascone are delightful.
You can find absolutely breathtaking views over the volcanic lakes in the area; Lake Bolsena, Lake Bracciano and the enchanting Lake Vico located close to San Martino al Cimino and surrounded by a thriving protected natural reserve.