Viterbo Charming Medival Old Town

Rome, Viterbo

Day 1 Viterbo
We will take a walk in the tiny streets along the capital of Tuscia of VIterbo. We will discover the wonderful quart San Pellegrino, from medieval period and the biggest of Europe; then we will suit in the heart of the Viterbo of Popes: will reach the Palace of the Popes, an antique residence when Viterbo was the seat of Popes, and the Duomo dedicated to San Lorenzo. We will direct to the Cathedral dedicated to the saint protector of the city, Santa Rosa, and will also visit her birth house.

Point of Interest: Viterbo was a seat for 24 years, from the 1257 till 1281. The Pope election in the 1268-1271 brought a big attraction to the city: the cardinals should have elected the successor of Pope Clemente IV and they unified for 20 months, without never giving any name. So, the people from Viterbo, irritated and supported by the captain of the people Raniero Gatti, decided to lock down the cardinals in the election hall (clause cum clave), giving them only bread and water to eat, and uncovered the roof leaving them on the bad weather, until they decided who’s going to be the new Pope. Finally in the 1272 was elected Pope Gregorio X, who decided that the future pope elections also will be in one hall locked by a key: in that way was born the Conclave. From the 1261 till 1281 in Viterbo were hold 5 Conclaves.

The most important date for every person of Viterbo is the 3rd of September, during which night happens the transport of the Car of Santa Rosa. That’s in fact a triumphal canopy illuminated by candles and led, on which point is Saint Rosa, the protector of the city,that sweats out between the roofs; it is 30 m high, and weights 51 quintals, hand out on the shoulders of a 100 men, called the Porters of Saint Rosa. The Car passes the center of Viterbo, for a course of around 1.2 km, for finish the race (the last most difficult part in ascent) in front of the Sanctuary of the Saint. From the 2013, is a part of the real estates of UNESCO.

Day 2 Viterbo – Bolsena – Montefiascone (20+9+10 Miles)
A visit of the “City of the Eucharistic Miracle”, Bolsena, that overlooks the homonymous lake. We will reach the Collegiate Church of Saint Cristina, the city’s patron. We will visit the beautiful basilica that hosts the stone where happened the miracle of Corpus Domini and the catacomb of the Saint. In the afternoon we will visit Montefiascone, village that dominates also the Bolsena Lake. Here are the rests of the Fortress of the Popes, built in the XII century by the pope Innocenzo III, that after in the XIV century became existed residence of the Popes. Of a particular interest is also the church of Saint Flaviano, an example of a Romanesque gothic architecture.

Point of Interest: The Collegiate church of Saint Cristina is dedicated to the Saint, a daughter of one roman prefect, converted herself into Christianity. It’s been told that the father, to punish her, had made her terrible tortures, and after that he commissioned dead: she was tied on a stone and then thrown in the waters of the lake Bolsena. When she was thrown in the water the stone started to float and Cristina saved herself, but the tortures that she was suffering from brought to the death few days later. The stone of the torture of Cristina was used like an altar, on which in the 1263 happened a miracle of the Corpus Domini. Pietro from Prague, Bohemian priest that was resting in Rome, took a short break in the village Bolsena, where wanted to celebrate the Saint Mass in the church dedicated to Saint Cristina. Because Pietro had doubts for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, exactly in that moment the host jumped on the stone of martyrdom, pouring blood on the priest and the stones on the ground, today conserved in the Duomo of Orvieto.

Day 3 Viterbo – Rome (5 Miles)
Departure to Rome, the eternal city. We will start the visit from the Vatican Museum, a museum center of the City of Vatican. We will pass the Courtyard of the Pinecone, the beautiful Hall of Geographic Cards, where is reproduced all Italy, to finish the visit with the Sistine Chapel. We will climb up the stairs that will bring us to the Basilica Saint Pietro, the biggest Christian Basilica in the world. Its grandiosity will leave us speechless; it is enough to think only of the masterpieces that it holds: Pietà of Michelangelo, Bernini’s Baldachino… In the second chapel of the lateral nave from right, there is the grave of Saint Giovanni Paolo II. Before arriving there, look over the Holy Door!

Curiosity: There are different theories about the origin of the name Rome. There was someone who thought it comes from Roma, the spouse of Enea or from the son Ascanio; another thought it came from Romolo, the founder of the city. But the most “romantic” theory is the one from the Byzantine writer Giovanni Lido, who lived between V and IV centuries, that reports only the Latin word amor (amore=love) written in opposite.

Day 4 Rome – Castle Gandolfo – Rome (15+15 Miles)
We will visit the Gandolfo Castle, a village that overlooks the Lake Albano. It is known as one of the most beautiful Villages in Italy. When we arrive in the historic center, we will see the Pontifical Palace, or the summer residence of Popes. The firs who stayed there was Pope Urbano VIII Barberini. At the return to Rome, free time for personal activities.

Point of ineterst: Before leaving Gandolfo Castle, look to the beautiful Collegiate church of Saint Tommaso. Exiting the church, take the way on your left… You will remain speechless of the view of Lake Albano that will open right in front of your eyes! -  The culinary Roman tradition is wide: from the one Hebraic-roman to the local dishes most traditional. You can’t miss to visit the bakery Boccione, in the Ghetto, to taste the cake of sour cherry and ricotta… or to stop in one of the restaurants of the quart to taste the famous “artichoke alla giudia”. Don’t say goodbye to Rome without trying a good plate of “Pasta alla carbonara” or alla matriciana”.

Day 5 Departure

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