Of ancient Etruscan origin, the “Pope’s town” maintains its monumental order as one of the most appreciated in Latium: aristocratic palaces, charming medieval quarters, churches and cloisters of various ages, slender towers and elegant peperino fountains. The historic centre began developing in the middle age around the “Castrum Viterbii” on the cathedral’s hill and in about 2 centuries, became so big that contended with the nearby Rome the honor and the pride of the Pope’s residence. The old town, partly destroyed during the World War II, its surrounded by imposing medieval walls and massive towers, built between 1095 and 1268, and seven gates.
Patron saint of the city is S. Rosa da Viterbo. Every year, on September 3 (S. Rosa celebration day) there is the worldwide famous traditional transport of the “Macchina di S. Rosa”, an illuminated beel tower with the imposing height of 30 mt and a weigth of about 5 tons. On top of the tower stands the statue of the Patron Saint. The “Macchina” is carried by the over 100 volunteers called “Facchini” entusoastically acclaimed by the people along the streets of the old town centre where, in the growing dusk, the street-lights are turned off to pay omage to the Saint.
In Viterbo there are also sulphureous-sulphate and alkaline-earthy waters, well-known by Etruscan, spout at 58° and contain terapautical properties, minerals and other elements. There are luxurious SPA, like Terme dei Papi, or municipal termal parks with free entrance.