Title: Viterbo - The City of Popes
Category: Destinations We Visit on Our Soriano Vacations
Author: Daniele Pintaudi Updated: Jan 30, 2019 Views: 5,095
Tags: viterbo visit viterbo tuscia viterbo italy

Viterbo - The City of Popes

Once home of the Vatican, this provincial capital is home to one of Europe's best preserved medieval quarters

Viterbo may be one of Italy's greatest hidden gems. With so many popular tourist destinations surrounding it (Rome, Tuscany & Umbria), it often goes unnoticed by visitors... and that makes Viterbo something truly real in an area that has been altered by the masses of tourists coming to Italy.

In the middle ages, Viterbo was among the most important cities in all of Europe, with more than 50 castles under its control by the 13th century. But more amazingly, very few know that this was the functional Vatican for a long period of time in the 13th century.

During a period of time when it was simply too dangerous for the Popes to live in Rome, they moved here and established what is now known as the Papal Palace. It was here that the very first Papal Enclave happened, and the tradition of sending up white smoke to signal the choosing of a new pope first happened... a tradition that continues today in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome.

Dante wrote about the hot springs here in "Inferno", Michelangelo painted here, Ancient Romans would come here for the healing powers of the hot springs, and more recently, many films have been shot here, including La Dolce Vita and Othello.

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