Things to see -
What to see in Viterbo
Viterbo main information page)
The historic medieval center of Viterbo is
one of the best preserved in central Italy.
Many of the older buildings are built on top
of ancient ruins, the main attraction is the Papal Palace
(Palazzo dei Papi), a XIII century structure whose site,
looking over the green gorge that cuts into central Viterbo, is
best appreciated from its open Gothic loggia. It was the second
country residence of the Papal palace after Rome, built to
entice the Papacy away from Rome.
The second most important monument of the
city is the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo, erected in
Romanesque style over the temple of Hercules. Inside, it
has an elegant striped floor, unusual among Italian churches.
The notable Gothic belfry is from the XIV century, and shows
influence of Senese artists. The church houses the
sarcophagus of Pope John XXI and the picture Christ
Blessing by Gerolamo da Cremona (1472).
The Palazzo Comunale from 1460 is also
a good and worth seeing monument which houses a series of XVI
century Baroque frescoes by the Ligustri, and the Cavarozzi.
Also some other magnificent Palazzi are the Palazzo del
Podest?/b> dated 1264, the Palazzo degli Alessandri in
the old district, a typical patrician house of Middle Ages
and the Palazzo della Prefettura,
which was entirely rebuilt in 1771 on the central square
Piazza del Plebiscito, where the lions and palm trees across
the square are Viterbo's symbol.
From Piazza del Plebiscito, through via Roma
we find Corso Italia, Viterbo's main shopping street and
a busy passeggiata of the evenings. It leads to Piazza Verdi and
the XIX century Church of Santa Rosa, which holds the
saint's corpse, dressed up in a nun's habit. Not to miss the
Festa di Santa Rosa, where a 30 metre high construction is
carried through the streets of the town in September.
The Gothic Church of Santa Maria della
Salute has a beautiful rich portal, while the Romanesque
Chiesa del Ges?/b>, from the XI century is known as the place
where the sons of Simon de Montfort stabbed to death Prince
Henry of Cornwall, son of King Richard I of England.
The Church of Santa Maria della Verit?
with some fine early-Renaissance frescoes by little-known master
Lorenzo da Viterbo in the Capella Mazzatosta.
Another important historic palace is the
Palazzo Farnese from XIV and XV century as well as some few
more churches like the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria Nuova
from the XII century, where we find a beautiful cloister
believed to date from an earlier period, the Church of San
Sisto from the IX century, and San Giovanni in Zoccoli
from the XI century.
The Gothic Church of San Francesco,
built over a pre-existing Lombard fortress, houses the sepulchre
of Pope Adrian V who died in Viterbo in 1276 and the one of
Clement IV who died in 1268.
The Museo Civico (City Museum) houses
many archaeological specimens from the pre-historical time like
the Iron Age, to Roman times, a Pinacoteca (Art gallery) with
paintings from the XIII century to the XIX century, from
Sebastiano del Piombo, to the Romano, and the Rosa, Grammatica
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