Capranica City Guide

Madonna del Piano Church Capranica

Capranica is a small town of over 6000 inhabitants. It is located about 55 kilometres north of Rome and a little less than 30 kilometres south of the provincial capital Viterbo along both the ancient Via Cassia consular road and the pilgrim road Via Francigena.

Capranica (province of Viterbo) City Guide

Tourist information

The address of the town hall is Corso Francesco Petrarca, 40 (tel. +39 076166791). The postal code is 01012 and the area code is 0761. The town has three frazioni (boroughs), namely Capranica Scalo, Vico Matrino and Querce d`Orlando.

By car/public transportation

Own transport from Viterbo: Follow the SR2 (the ancient consular road Via Cassia) in southern direction.

Own transport from Rome: Take the Via Cassia in northern direction.

Public transport from Viterbo: The FR3 train between Rome and Viterbo stops in Capranica-Sutri, 5 km from the historical centre of the city.

Public transport from Rome: see above.

A brief history of Capranica

Capranica - Madonna del Piano Church
Madonna del Piano Church

Capranica has always been an important town because of its favourable location in a wooded area between two lakes. Of Etruscan origin, it was later taken over by the Romans, before becoming a plaything of various peoples invading from the north and later of the feudal lords who divided the region among themselves. In 1465, the population placed itself under the authority, and protection, of the Pope.

Ancient history

Capranica‘s history dates back to Etruscan times and thanks to its favourable location, the town has always remained an important place in the history of the entire region.

The Etruscan settlement was conquered by the Romans, who turned it into a military stronghold. The reason for this choice was partly the proximity of the town of Sutri and partly the presence of the woods and drinking water in the area.

A second settlement in the area was Vico Matrino, which was however destroyed by the barbarians after the decline of the Roman Empire. Vico Matrino is now a borough of Capranica.

Middle ages

In the 10th century, Emperor Ottone III gave the town to the Monastery of the Saints Alessio and Bonifacio on the Aventine Hill in Rome.

Later in the Middle Ages, Capranica became an important garrison of the Papal State.

The Lombards and the Franks invaded the town, which was also often besieged by bandit troops, as well as by the various feudal lords of the region, who wanted to steal Capranica from the Pope. The Anguillara held the town for a while. After that it was taken over by the Di Vico before the Anguillara regained possession.

In the year 1465, the inhabitants of Capranica themselves chased the Anguillara out of the city, swearing allegiance to the pope in return for which they made a number of demands, including exemption from paying taxes.

Tourist attractions Capranica

The main tourist attractions of the town are the Castello degli Anguillara and the Torrione dell’Orologio. The largest and most impressive church is the Madonna del Piano Church, built between the 12th and 14th centuries to a design by Vignola. Other interesting churches are the San Terenzio al Monte, the San Francesco Church, the San Pietro Apostolo Church and the San Giovanni Evangelista Church. (All Capranica points of interest.)

Feasts and Festivals Capranica

San Terenziano is the town’s patron saint. Festivities in his honour are held every year on the first Sunday in September.

Capranica, Province of Viterbo, Latium, Italy

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