10 things to see absolutely in Viterbo and surroundings

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Who said that to see enchanting places you have to travel hours and hours? In the heart of Italy there are beautiful areas, often little known, which can give emotions to anyone who visits them. The area of Viterbo and surroundings can give you an unforgettable journey in the upper area Latium. Ready to start to find out what the 10 things you absolutely must see in this area?


  1. Historic Center of Viterbo
  2. Palace of the Popes
  3. Villa Lante
  4. Santa Rosa machine
  5. Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Quercia
  6. Cathedral of San Lorenzo
  7. San Pellegrino neighborhood
  8. Bomarzo Park
  9. Etruscan necropolis of Castel d'Asso
  10. Awakening of Seward Johnson
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Historic Center of Viterbo

The historic center of Viterbo contains most of the main attractions of the city: here are the noble palaces that have seen the presence of popes and nobles, churches and museums that will leave you breathless.

  • From Porta Romana proceed north on SR2 for 15 min, or take FL3 to "Porta Fiorentina"
  • always open
  • free

2 - Palace of the Popes

Palazzo dei Papi is one of the most important historical buildings in Viterbo. Dating back to the thirteenth century, it is located in the historic center of the city and was the papal residence after that of Rome. Its most famous part is undoubtedly the "lodge", called "delle Benedizioni", from which the pope officially presented himself after the Conclave.

  • Get directions
  • Mon-Sun 10: 00-19: 00
  • full € 9,00. Reduced € 7,00

3 - Villa Lante

Just a few km from Viterbo, Villa Lante contains one of the most famous italian mannerist gardens in the world. In addition to strolling through the greenery of this splendid villa, you can also watch water games and see waterfalls and fountains.

  • Take the "RMVT" train to Bagnaia (about 10 minutes) and continue on foot along via Jacopo Barozzi for 500 meters - Get directions
  • Closed on Mondays. November, December January, February 8: 30-16: 30. March 8: 30-17: 30. April 1-15 and October 8: 30-18: 30. April 16-30, May, June, July, August, September 1-15 8: 30-19: 30
  • full € 5,00, reduced € 2,50

4 - Santa Rosa car

The Machine of Santa Rosa is one of the main attractions of Viterbo. This torch-lit tower weighs around 5 tons and is a whopping 30 meters high. The "machine" is the canopy on which stands the statue of Santa Rosa, the patron saint of the city. Not to be missed is the procession on September 3, during which the Machine is lifted and carried on the shoulders by a hundred devotees.

  • From Porta Romana go west on Via Cardinal La Fontaine to Palazzo degli Alessandri
  • always open
  • free

5 - Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Quercia

The Sanctuary of Madonna della Quercia is dedicated to the co-patroness of the city and is a place not to be missed. The church is recognizable from the external staircase on which two columns rise, with a pediment that shows sculpted the lions of Viterbo and an oak. The interior instead, divided into three naves, is richly decorated in the Renaissance style and completed by two cloisters.

  • from Porta Romana by car take via Belluno and continue on Str. del cuculo for 13 km - Get directions
  • always open in relation to the times of mass
  • free

6 - Cathedral of San Lorenzo

The Cathedral of San Lorenzo is the main church of the city. It was built on top of what was once the temple dedicated to Hercules in pure Romanesque style. Not to be missed, in addition to the Gothic-Sienese bell tower of the fourteenth century, is the pavement of rare beauty and the painting of the Blessing of Christ by Girolamo da Cremona, as well as the sarcophagus of Pope John XXI.

  • From Porta Romana go west on Via Cardinal La Fontaine for about 900 meters to Piazza di San Lorenzo - Get directions
  • in relation to the times of mass. Guided tour times: 10: 00-13: 00/15: 00-18: 00. Summer opening hours 10: 00-13: 00/15: 00-19: 00
  • for full guided tour € 9,00. Reduced € 7,00

7 - San Pellegrino district

The San Pellegrino district is one of the most characteristic areas of the city. In this area, born around the main axis of the city, is full of thirteenth century buildings that still retain their original facades. Some were destroyed, such as Palazzo Gatti, during the power struggles between the families of the city.

  • From Porta Romana go west on Via Cardinal La Fontaine for about 600 meters to Piazza San Carluccio - Get directions
  • always open
  • free

8 - Bomarzo Park

The Bomarzo Park (or Villa delle Meraviglie) is known all over the world for its basalt sculptures from the th century, which represent subjects of mythology and monsters. Designed by the architect Pirro Ligorio commissioned by Prince Pier Franesco Orsini, it contains several attractions including a theater, a nymphaeum and a square called "dei Vasi".

  • from Porta Romana by car take the SS675 for 21 km - Get directions
  • Mon-Sun 8: 30-19: 00
  • full € 10,00. Reduced € 8,00

9 - Etruscan necropolis of Castel d'Asso

On the outskirts of Viterbo, the Necropolis of Castel d'Asso awaits you. The importance of this place lies first of all in the locality, since it seems to be the ancient Azia mentioned in Cicero's Pro caecina. Secondly, the tombs are truly unique. Arranged on three orders, they still retain the inscriptions indicating who was the owner of the tomb.

  • from Porta Romana by car drive on Str. Bagni for about 5 km and continue on Via Procoio for another 4,7 km - Get directions
  • always open
  • free

10 - Awakening of Seward Johnson

A stone's throw from the historic center of Viterbo, the Awakening has an incredible impact on those who see it for the first time. This gigantic sculpture is made up of several pieces arranged in such a way as to form a single titan figure emerging from the ground. The artist who made it, Seward Johnson, thought of it as the symbol of the awakening of man and consciousness.

  • From Porta Romana go west on Via Cardinal La Fontaine for about 900 meters and cut north on Via Faul - Get directions
  • always open
  • free

Plan your stay in Viterbo: flights, hotels and tours

Ready for a trip to Viterbo? Organizing it will be very easy. The city and the surrounding areas offer several options, ranging from hotels to B & Bs. Reaching them is easy, since Viterbo is not a very big city, so you can comfortably arrive by train (or car) and reach the main destinations in no time, even on foot.

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