img_coa = Viterbo-Stemma.png
official_name = Comune di Viterbo
name = Viterbo
province = Viterbo (VT)
elevation_m = 326
area_total_km2 = 406.28
population_total = 60537
population_density_km2 = 148.63
timezone = CET, UTC+1
coordinates = coord|42|25|N|12|06|E
frazioni = Fastello, Grotte Santo Stefano, Sant'Angelo, Monterazzano, Bagnaia, La Quercia, San Martino al Cimino
telephone = 0761
postalcode = 01100
gentilic = Viterbesi
Saint Rose of Viterbo
mayor = Giancarlo Gabbianelli
website = [http://www.comune.viterbo.it/ comune.viterbo.it]
Viterbo is an ancient city and "
comune" in the Lazio region of central Italy, the capital of the province of Viterbo. It is approximately 100 kilometers (60 mi) north of Romeon the Via Cassia, and it is surrounded by the Monti Ciminiand 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 also hosts the Italian gold reserves, an important Academy of Fine Arts, and the
University of Tuscia, and is located in a wide thermal area, attracting many tourist from the whole central Italy.
Although Viterbo is very ancient, its precise origins are unknown. According to the notorious forger,
Annio of Viterbo, it originated as an Etruscan town. At any rate, on the present site of Viterbo, or nearby, there was a little Roman colony ("Vicus Elbii"); whether this is the same center referred to as "Vetus Urbs" ("Old City") in the Middle Ages is uncertain.
The first firm report of the new city dates to the
8th century, when it is identified as "Castrum Viterbii". It was fortified in 773by the Lombard king Desideriusin 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 1095it 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 Barbarossamade 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 1172Viterbo started its expansion, destroying the old city of "Ferentum" 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.
1207, Pope Innocent IIIheld a council in the cathedral, but the city was later excommunicated as favourite seat of the heretical Patariand even defeated by the Romans. In 1210, however, Viterbo managed to defeat the Emperor Otto IV and was again in war against Rome.
13th centuryit was ruled alternately by the tyrants of the Gatti and Di Vicofamilies. Frederick II drew Viterbo to the Ghibellineside in 1240, but when the citizens expelled his turbulent German troops in 1243he returned and besieged the city, but in vain. From that point Viterbo was always a loyal Guelph. Between 1257and 1261it was the seat of Pope Alexander IV, who also died here. His successor Urban IV was elected in Viterbo.
1266- 1268Clement 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 Conradinof Swabiawhich 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 floor of his room crumbled down), 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 14th century, Giovanni Di Vicohad created a seignory extending to Civitavecchia, Tarquinia, Bolsena, Orvieto, Todi, Narniand 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 1375the 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 1396and 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 becoming part of Italyin 1871.
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.
The main attraction of Viterbo is the Papal Palace (Palazzo dei Papi), that served as a country residence and a repair in time of trouble in Rome. The columns of the palace are spolia from a Roman temple.
The second most important monument of the city is the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo. It was erected in Romanesque style by Lombard architects over a temple of
Hercules. It was variously rebuilt from the 16th centuryon, and was heavily damaged in 1944by Allied bombs. The notable Gothic belfry is from the first half of the 14th century, and shows influence of Senese artists. The church houses the sarcophagus of Pope John XXIand the picture "Christ Blessing" by Gerolamo da Cremona( 1472).
Other notable monuments are:
* The "Palazzo Comunale" (begun
1460), "Palazzo del Podestà" ( 1264) and "Palazzo della Prefettura" (rebuilt 1771) on the central square Piazza del Plebiscito. The Palazzo Comunale houses a series of 16th centuryand Baroquefrescoes by Tarquinio Ligustri, Bartolomeo Cavarozziand others.
*The small Gothic church of "Santa Maria della Salute", which has a rich portal.
*The Romanesque "Chiesa del Gesù" (
11th century). Here the sons of Simon de Montfort stabbed to death Henry of Almain, son of Richard of Cornwall.
*The "Palazzo Farnese" (14th-
15th century), where Alessandro Farnese, the future Pope Paulus III, lived in his youth together with his beautiful sister, Giulia Farnese.
*The "Rocca" (castle).
*The Romanesque churches of "Santa Maria Nuova" (
12th century), "San Sisto" (second half of the 9th century), and "San Giovanni in Zoccoli" ( 11th century).
*The "Palazzo degli Alessandri" in the old district, a typical patrician house of Middle Ages Viterbo.
*The "Fontana Grande", began in
*The Gothic church of "San Francesco", built over a pre-existing Lombard fortress. It has a single nave with Latin cross plan. It houses the sepulchre of
Pope Adrian V, who died in Viterbo on August 17, 1276, considered the first monument by Arnolfo di Cambio.
The "Museo Civico" (City Museum) houses many archeological specimens from the pre-historical to Roman times, plus a Pinacoteca (gallery) with paintings of
Sebastiano del Piombo, Antoniazzo Romano, Salvator Rosa, Antiveduto Grammaticaand others. The Orto Botanico dell'Università della Tusciais a botanical gardenoperated by the university.
Santa Maria Rosa 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. San Lorenzo is the male patron saint. A native of Viterbo, Blessed Dominic Barberi, was born on 22 June, 1792 and would later minister in England.
"Macchina di Santa Rosa"
The transport of the [http://www.provincia.vt.it/turismo/Fotografie/MattioliMacchinaSantaRosa.jpgMacchina di S. Rosa] takes place every year, on
September 3, 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 and thirty Viterbesi men (known as the "Facchini") carry the Macchina from Porta Romana through the each of the major streets of Viterbo, concluding with a strenuous ascension up to the Piazza di Santa Rosa, its final resting place. Each Macchina has a life span of five years, after which a new one is built.
Viterbo has two "stemmi" (heraldic badges): 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 Dark Ages (4th-9th century CE) when Viterbo conquered and absorbed a neighboring town. 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.
Viterbo currently has a small military air force base, located 3km from the town. On
November 26, 2007, Italian transport minister Alessandro Bianchiannounced that Viterbo had been chosen as the site of the next Airport in Lazio to serve Rome, over Latina, Frosinone, and Guidonia. [ [http://rome.wantedineurope.com/news/news.php?id_n=3853&title=Viterbo%20gets%20Rome%27s%20third%20airport.&on=transport&PHPSESSID=81af5d99f3bf4b12668fbc1eef007260 Viterbo gets Rome's third airport., Rome transport news ] ]
* [http://www.comune.viterbo.it/ Official website] , including a [http://www.comune.viterbo.it/tour/eng/index.html virtual tour] of the city
* [http://www.tuscia360.it/scheda.php?l=en&q=viterbo Tuscia 360 about Viterbo, including virtual tour featuring several VR panoramas]
* [http://www.infoviterbo.it/ Viterbo Tourist Promotion]
* [http://www.viterboonline.com/ ViterboOnline.Com]
* [http://www.festadelleciliegie.it/english/ Festa delle Ciliegie] (Cherry Festival and other information)
* [http://www.sya.org/pages/sitepage.cfm?id=111&pagename=Viterbo SYA.Org]
* [http://wikitravel.org/en/Viterbo Viterbo] on Wikitravel
* [http://www.basketintuscia.it Basket in Tuscia] Basketball in Viterbo area
* [http://map.guit.it/mappa-di-viterbo Map]
* [http://www.webvisionitaly.com/category.php?id=220&ref_genre=&ref_item=284/ Viterbo Video Guide]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Viterbo — Viterbo … Deutsch Wikipedia
VITERBO — VITERBO, town in central Italy. Documents show Jews living in the town in 1272; in 1294 the loan banker Elia resided there, and a few years later the number of Jews had increased to such an extent that in 1313 a Christian proposed setting up an… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Viterbo — (spr. witérbo), Kreishauptstadt in der ital. Provinz Rom, 340 m ü. M., an der Nordwestseite des Monte Cimino (1056 m) malerisch gelegen und von mittelalterlichem Anstrich, an den Eisenbahnen Attigliano V. und Rom V., Bischofssitz, hat Stadtmauern … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Viterbo — Viterbo, 1) Delegation des Kirchenstaates, zwischen der Comarca di Roma, der Delegation Civita vecchia u. den italienischen Provinzen Grosseto, Siena u. Perugia, 54,51 QM., mit 128,300 Ew.; ist von vulkanischen Gebirgsgruppen erfüllt, von dem See … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Viterbo — Viterbo, Stadt in der ital. Prov. Rom, am Fuße des Cimino, (1901) 21.292 E., lombard. Mauern und Türme; Schwefelquellen … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Viterbo — Viterbo, die Hauptstadt der gleichnamigen Delegation im Kirchenstaate und Sitz eines Bischofs, mit einer Bevölkerung von 15,000 Seelen, liegt im Südosten vom bolsaner See an einem steilen Berge. Unter den 17 Kirchen zeichnet sich die von S. Rosa… … Damen Conversations Lexikon
Viterbo — Viterbo, Hauptstadt der gleichnamigen Delegation im Kirchenstaate, an der Straße von Rom nach Florenz, Bischofssitz, mit 15000 E., Kathedrale, warmen Bädern, Schwefelraffinerien … Herders Conversations-Lexikon
Viterbo — se encuentra al noroeste de Roma, a unos 100 km. Es la capital de la provincia homónima, en el Lacio, Italia.Reúne una población de 58,353 habitantes. Algunos de los lugares de interés de la ciudad son su barrio medieval y el antiguo palacio de… … Enciclopedia Universal
Viterbo — Para el municipio colombiano, véase Viterbo (Colombia). Viterbo Escudo … Wikipedia Español
Viterbo — Viterbe (Italie) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Viterbe. Viterbe Le Palais des papes et le campanile du Dôme Saint Laurent … Wikipédia en Français