Viterbo

Viterbo, the rural capital of Tuscia, was during the Middle Ages residence of the Pope and thus enjoyed a greater attention than the capital of Italy itself. Today Viterbo is with its beautiful villages a modern commercial and industrial centre, which is still marked by the atmospheric flair of the Etruscan culture.

The abundant impressive legacies of the Etruscan art form together with the charming centre, its palaces, churches and squares, the ancient walled city of Viterbo. The heart of the old town and therefore mundane centre is the Piazza del Plebiscito with the Palazzo dei Priori and the medieval Palazzo del Podestà, which are connected with each other via the art gallery.

The religious center of the city is the Piazza San Lorenzo and its Romanesque Cathedral of San Lorenzo belonging to the 12th century. The impressive Papal Palace, the Palazzo Papale, was once used as a pontifical residence, where the most protracted conclave in history took place. On the pilgrim route Via Francigena, the ancient link with the city of Rome, you travel in the time of the Etruscans, where you will be overwhelmed by the breathtaking panoramas of the excavation sites.

Today's Lake Bolsena and Lake Vico are extinct craters and testify next to the hot springs the volcanic origin of the area around Viterbo. The northern area of Viterbo, however, is rather flat. Beech forests criss-cross the country, which is determined by the rural character of central Italy. Mediterranean vegetation and vast sandy beaches which are bathed by the crystal clear sea, characterize the coastline.