Viterbo

Destination Weddings in Viterbo

A rich and fascinating destination in which to begin your married life is the hill town of Viterbo. It is the administrative center of its province and is situated in the region of Lazio. The name of Viterbo comes from the Latin Vetus Urbs, ancient city.

Located between Tuscany to the north and Rome, 65 miles away, to the south, Viterbo was the main settlement of the Etruscans, the civilization established before the Romans came. In the second century, it was a stop for pilgrims on the road that runs from Canterbury to Rome, the famous Via Francigena.

Viterbo was of major importance during the 12th and 13th century, at one time eclipsing even the size and influence of Rome. The “City of the Popes” became in fact a papal seat. Apparently, it was a shelter from the quarreling and chaos that the popes experienced in Rome during that time. The medieval historical centre of town, Quartiere S. Pellegrino, is surrounded by towered walls dating from the 11th to the 13th century.

The Palace of the Pope with the beautiful Loggia delle Benedizioni, located in Piazza S. Lorenzo, was built in the twelve hundreds. You can also admire the two connected buildings of the Palazzo dei Priori and Palazzo del Podesta’ (Palazzi Comunali), the Rocca Albornoz and S. Lorenzo Cathedral along with many beautiful fountains.

In addition, a legacy from Daniele da Viterbo is the cloister within the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Quercia, one of the most well proportioned Renaissance buildings in the region.

Many events take place in Viterbo. For example, held on September 3rd is the Trasporto della Macchina di Santa Rosa, a procession which includes a structure nearly 30 meters high carried through the streets by the men of the town. This festival reenacts the transporting of the saint’s body from the Church of Santa Maria del Poggio to the Sanctuary of Santa Rosa. During your planning, check for a baroque festival in September and October and a flower festival in May. If you wed and honeymoon here during one of the festivals, you will delight in the medieval features they include.

This is a place rich in history with archaeological museums, churches, and Etruscan sites. It is also known for its gold reserves, natural baths and thermal springs, and the University of Tuscia. The two beautiful volcanic lakes of Bolsena and Vico are nearby.

Though it is sometimes overlooked by travelers in Italy, those who discover it delight in its stone homes, external staircases, lanes, and antique shops. Because of the stunning preservation of its history, this unique Italian town is noted for its authenticity. For this reason, it is often filmed. Of course there is Rome to visit, but an interesting side trip is the Villa Lante gardens in the little village of Bagnaia close by. Stop in the little shop down the road afterwards for little clay wall hangings that sport grotesque faces, used to ward off evil spirits or bad luck.

The regional cuisine of Viterbo is a wonderful blend of culinary influences from Rome, Tuscany, and Umbria. A descriptive sampling of dishes includes Acquacotta, consisting of vegetables, dried out bread, catmint (grown locally), chicory, eggs and olive oil; a lamb soup with artichokes, potatoes and other vegetables called Giubba e Calzoni; and meats such as rabbit and chicken.

There are so many sights and events to choose from here that your wedding trip is sure to be a rich and interesting experience!