The beating heart of the upper Tuscia – 47 km from Castiglione in Teverina
Staying in the Casale dei Gelsi farm-house, a B&B 6 km from the medieval village of Castiglione in Teverina (Viterbo province), allows you to visit the tip town of Alta Tuscia: Viterbo, about forty kilometers from here, at the foot of the Cimini mountains, not far from the lakes of Bolsena and Vico and from the sea.
History – It was donated to the State of the Church by the Franks. It was the object of contention between the Papacy and the Empire, especially under Frederick Barbarossa. Excommunicated in the thirteenth century, the city then entered the Papal States and became an apostolic see. Other events characterized it until the unification of Italy. In the second world war the bombings caused deaths and destruction.
To visit – The monumental beauties make Viterbo very rich in history: archaeological sites of Etruscan memory, the ancient walls intact, cloisters and churches of various ages, aristocratic palaces, towers and pretty medieval villages (the most ancient district of the city, San Pellegrino, enchanting to see also Pianoscarano).
Symbol of the city is Palazzo dei Papi, erected between 1257 and 1267, currently home to the Museum of Sacred Art. The Cathedral of San Lorenzo, built in the 12th century by Lombard craftsmen on a pre-existing parish, is amazing: a façade with a Gothic rose window, a Gothic bell tower, precious panels inside and carved wardrobes. The historic center is enclosed by turreted walls. Numbered among the most beautiful squares in Italy is Piazza S. Pellegrino. Etruscan sarcophagi can be admired in the Town Hall (XVI century), while evidence of Etruscan civilization and architecture can be found in the Civic Museum – the famous Pietà by Sebastiano del Piombo – and the Rocca Albornoz, home of the National Archaeological Museum.
Surroundings – 3 km from Viterbo is the Renaissance Sanctuary of S. Maria della Quercia which houses a miraculous image of the Madonna which, according to tradition, is free from the plague. Inside, the ceiling is covered in gold with 15th and 16th century frescoes. To admire the imposing seventeenth-century organ and the sumptuous altar. It is advisable to see the remains of the ancient Ferentium, an Etruscan city, heading towards Bagnoregio, and the rocky necropolis of the 4th-2nd century. B.C. with graves carved in tufa cliffs.
Otherwise, continuing south and passing the Cimini mountains, you arrive at Lake Vico.