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Viterbo @ Italian Village Vacation

Guests Impressions

"My husband and I began our honeymoon by staying 5 nights at Casa Verde in Castel Cellesi. We loved the whole experience. The house was perfect for our needs with full kitchen, including cooking utensils, 2 bathrooms ans a bedroom with a beautiful view of the valley. Eddie was very friendly, helpful, informative and accessible. He gave us a map and a full explanation of all the nearby sights worth visiting. With our rental car, we visited Viterbo, Orvieto, La Civita, Bolsena and montefiascone. All towns were unique and interesting. The food and wine were incredible. We would highly recommend Castel Cellesi to anyone looking for a relaxing experience that is a little bit off the beaten path."
Sami B, England - Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple

"In Castel Cellesi I had one of my most beautiful and relaxing vacations. Peace and quiet, beautiful surrounds and great accommodation, really made it."
Julie Robinson, London England

"Thank you for your hospitality and for fulfilling every and all of our wishes. I and my family really enjoyed our vacation. See you next year same date."
Patricia Millar, Cleveland (USA)

"For elderly people like me and my husband this is like a real little paradise. We warmly recommend anyone to come and stay."
Mary McCaib, Toronto (Canada)

"A vacation in Castel Cellesi is an unforgettable experience! I couldn’t get over the friendly locals, and of course the food... Wonderful. Thank you so much."
David Wyse, Sevenoaks England

"Coming from Finland one of the most important considerations for me was good weather and comfortable accommodation. I found this and more in Castel Cellesi. To my surprise I found Finnish spoken in the village! Well done."
Jorma Jyrkilä, Finland


Viterbo by nightThe real history of Viterbo dates back from the Middle Ages. As regards the previous period, traces of a fortified etruscan settlement were found on the hill where the Cathedral church and the Papal Palace now stand. Viterbo was conquered by the Romans and later dominated by the Goths, Byzanthines, Longobards, Franks until, finally, it became part of the Papal State. In the XII century Viterbo was recognized as a “City State” by Emperor Federico Barbarossa. From the XIII century onward it was often chosen as a shelter by a number of Popes and a beautiful palace was built for them to stay.

Papal palace in ViterboThe Palace was erected between 1255 and 1266 by order of Raniero Gatti (capitano del Popolo of Viterbo) as a Papal residence. Its Loggia is extremely noteworthy with entwined arches, coats-of arms and relief carvings on the cornice. In 1268, the Palace was the seat of a famous Conclave, which spanned three years as no candidate managed to win the majority vote for the election of a new Pope. On this occasion, the cardinals were locked up in the palace where the voting was taking place and, according to the legend, the citizens of Viterbo led by the Podestà, beeing exasperated, probably removed the roof of the hall. Finally Gregorio X was elected as a Pope and later also Giovanni XXI, Niccolò III and Martino IV were elected in the Palace.

Viterbo archesNowadays the Papal Palace is the symbol of the city and with the Quartiere (District) San Pellegrino, an impressive urban setting where the houses and the streets have fully maintained their medieval appearence, represent the heart of the city. Remarkable are also the city walls, built in the Middle Ages, to encircle and protect the old town. Many of the original watch-towers and city gates are still to be admired (Porta Fiorita or Porta di Valle).

Other interesting sites and monuments in Viterbo:
    Viterbo church
  • The Cathedral Church built in the XII-XIII century on the place where the previous church of S. Lorenzo was. Bell-tower from 1369, façade 1570.
  • The Church of Santa Maria Nuova with its cloister dating back from le Longobard period.
  • The Church of San Sisto, probably founded in the XI century.
  • Piazza del Plebiscito (Plebiscito Square): it stands out because of the huge porch of Palazzo dei Priori (Priori Palace) supported by eight solid columns. It was started in 1460.

    Viterbo house
  • On the left you can see Palazzo della Prefettura (Prefecture's Palace) which originally housed the City Judiciary. In the corner there is a “nenfro” lion placed on top of a granite column of roman origin.
  • On the right of the Palazzo dei Priori, joined by a peperino arch, is Palazzo del Podestà (Podestà Palace) built in 1264 to be the palace of the leader of the people, nowadays the seat of the municipal offices.
  • Looking over the square is the Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower) 44 meters high. At the foot of the tower, also placed on top of a granite column, is the Lion of Viterbo, symbol of the city.
Viterbo medievalViterbo is also the birthplace of Santa Rosa. She was born in 1233 (or 1235), she died very young in 1251. Her body, incorrupted, is still to be seen in a very precious coffin in the the Church of Santa Rosa (former San Damiano church). Every year in the evening of September 3rd a very special “procession”takes place in Viterbo in honour of the Saint: the so-called Macchina di Santa Rosa.