Viterbo and surroundings
Copious remains of necropolis attest to the existence of an Etruscan settlement, destroyed by the Romans in 310 BC In the eighth century, the Lombard King Desiderio, struggling with Pope Adrian I, the ancient fortified tuscanica area, ushering in a long period of Lombard domination . She grew in importance as a free commune in the medieval period, received from Frederick I Barbarossa and the title of the city, which was sold after the death of this Pope Celestine III, in 1192 it became a bishopric. Then she fell under the yoke of Frederick II of Swabia, and output from a long siege of the Swabian militias thanks to the vigorous action of the cardinal Raniero Capocci, was chosen, in the second half of the thirteenth century, like almost permanent residence of the popes. Theater of struggles between opposing political factions on the thirteenth of the century, was included by the Farnese family in the Duchy of Castro but returned to the Papal States (1649), following the dissolution of the latter, by Pope Innocent X. The name, etymology uncertain, derives, according to the most likely hypothesis, by VETUS Millennium, 'old town'. Among the sights: the magnificent cathedral, built between the twelfth and thirteenth century, however among the XVI and XVII; the church of Santa Maria Nuova, with admirable Lombard cloister; the Romanesque churches of San Sisto and San Giovanni in sockets; the church of Santa Maria of Truth, with frescoes by Lorenzo da Viterbo; the church of Santa Rosa, which houses the incorrupt body of the Patron, locked in a sumptuous urn; the Papal Palace, built in the second half of the thirteenth century, with beautiful loggia interlaced arches; the Palazzo dei Priori (XIII century), characterized by an elegant portico, which runs along the entire facade.
Viterbo underground is composed of a network of tunnels that extend beneath the historic center and lead to beyond the walls. For now the only part of the way of the underground winds for a hundred meters arranged on two levels below Piazza della Death, at 3 and 10 meters deep respectively. The path is completely dug into the tuff, a volcanic rock that characterizes the present landscape of Tuscia. The origin of the tunnels is controversial. According to some reliable theories, advanced by scholars and archaeologists, the first cut in the tuff could even date back to the Etruscans. At that time, probably, the structure was used as a hydraulic system, a way to collect and channel rainwater and river water, then process them where necessary precisely through a thick cunicoli.E 'network during the medieval period that the area took the current conformation: raised, widened and elongated, underground tunnels became an authentic labyrinth of secret passages that were used to put in communication the neuralgic and strategic structures of Viterbo. The galleries also led to all major exits of the city and ensured the escape route to Viterbo in case of danger or siege. More recently the underground were exploited by robbers for their shady deals, and during the Second World War were used as air raid shelters during the bombing. A guided tour will lead you to discover these magical places, in a long journey through history over 2500 years. The galleries are spacious, lit by LEDs and easily walkable.
Bomarzo and the Monster Park
Bomarzo, Lazio village at the foot of Monte Cimino, possesses a unique work in the world, the House of Wonders, also called the Sacred Forest, often called Monster Park. It was designed by Prince Vicino Orsini and the great architect Pirro Ligorio in 1552 lI park, while becoming part nell'erudita architectural-naturalistic culture of the sixteenth century, it is unique. Refined Italian gardens are made up of geometric rationality perspective. with ornaments such as large terraces, fountains with water games and Mannerist sculpture. On the contrary, the cultured prince of Bomarzo is devoted to the realization of an eccentric "grove" doing sculpt in the boulders of lava stone, protruding from the ground, enigmatic monsters figures, dragons, mythological and exotic animals subjects, which Alteno in a small house pendant, a funerary temple, fountains, seats and obelisks on which was engraved mottos and inscriptions. The Sacred Wood, disregarding the sixteenth customs, presents itself as an irregular solution; the various elements are mutually disengaged from any aspect ratio and are not united by coherence of proportions. The everything is invented with iconographic criteria that escape even the most passionate scholars, authentic maze of symbols that surrounds those who delves physically or intellectually. These are the reasons that have inspired many artists of the time, like Annibal Caro, Bitussi and Cardinal Madruzzo. ln following the death of Vicino Orsini, nobody cared most about this place that after centuries of neglect was revalued by intellectuals and artists such as Claude Lorrain, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Salvador Dali, Mario Praz and Maurizio Calvesi.