Canino is a town of 5,000 inhabitants in the province of Viterbo. Located about 120 kilometers north of Rome, it is the birthplace of Pope Paul III Farnese and the former residence of Napoleon‘s brother. The town has a beautiful medieval center called Castelvecchio and its territory contains both Etruscan and Roman monuments.
Canino City Guide
Tourist information Canino
The address of the town hall is Via Roma, 2 (tel. 0761.43391). The postal code is 01011 and the area code is 0761.
By car/public transportation
By car from Viterbo: Follow the SP2 direction Tuscania and then the SP14 to your destination.
By car from Rome: Follow the E80 or the SS1 along the coast and from Montalto di Castro the SS321.
Public transportation from Viterbo: There are direct Cotral bus connections.
Public transportation from Rome: Take the train to Montalto di Castro and then take the bus (Cotral) to Canino.
A brief history of Canino
Although the city already existed in Etruscan times, it only became important when the Farnese family came to reside there. The later Pope Paul III (also a Farnese) was even born in Canino. Luciano Bonaparte (brother of the emperor) also lived in Canino and is buried there. Luciano was the Prince of Canino and Musignano, a title that was later transferred to the Torlonia family.
From the Etruscans to the Middle Ages
What is now Canino used to belong to the lucomonia of Vulci, one of the most important Etruscan settlements. There were 12 lucumonia, ruled by a lucumo. The lucumo is similar to a king. Especially between the 7th and 5th centuries BC, Vulci was very prosperous and politically influential.
Later the city was conquered by the Romans. At one point the Saracens tries, but failed, to conquer Canino.
The earliest reference to Canino is in a 9th century manuscript by Pope Leo IV.
After the 14th century
Originally Canino was owned by Viterbo and the Prefetti di Vico family. After this, the Holy See gave the city to Ranuccio III Farnese and the Duchy of Castro.
In 1649, after Pope Innocent II had had Castro destroyed, the Church regained control of the city.
During the Napoleonic era, the emperor’s brother Luciano was appointed prince of Canino. Luciano also took up residence there.
Tourist attractions Canino
The town has a wealth of tourist attractions, both within the old town center, called Castelvecchio, and outside it, with a number of Etruscan sites, an ancient Roman bridge and one of the longest aqueducts to ever exist. Many attractions within the historic center have to do with the former presence of the aforementioned Pope and Emperor’s brother. Therefore, the Top 10 Tourist Attractions Canino offers a wide variety of interesting sights.
One highlight is the Santi Giovanni and Andrea Church, with a crucifix from the 14th century, paintings by Sebastiano Conca and others, and the Bonaparte family chapel.
The Palazzo Comunale (town hall) and the Palazzo di Giustizia are the most interesting civic buildings.
The Etruscan Necropolis is located outside the city. Luciano Bonaparte even participated in its excavation.
Another attraction outside the center is the Castello dell’Abbadia, which already existed at the time of the Saracen invasions. After being destroyed, it was rebuilt in the 13th century by the Cistercians. At the beginning of the 16th century it served as a customs garrison. It is now the seat of a museum. The bridge over the river Fiora that leads to the castle dates back to Etruscan-Roman times.
One of the highlights is the annual Sagra dell’Oliva, which usually begins towards the end of November and lasts a little over a week.