Gallese is a hill town of three thousand inhabitants. It is located on the eastern side of the province of Viterbo, about 30 kilometres from Viterbo itself. Apart from the natural beauty, the main attraction of the town is the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral.
Gallese City Guide
The address of the town hall is Piazza Duomo, 1 – 01035 Gallese (tel. +39 076149791). The postal code is 01035 and the area code is 0761.
By car/public transport
By car: From Viterbo take the SP1 and then the SP25 towards Vignanello. Continue to Centignano and then take the SP34. From Rome take the E45 to the north. Exit at Magliano Sabina and follow the directions to Civita Castellana. At Borghetto di Civita Castellana turn left in the direction of Orte.
Public Transport: From Viterbo take the train to Orte and then the train to Gallese Scalo Teverina. From Rome there are direct trains to Gallese Scalo Teverina (on the line to Orte). These trains depart sometimes from Roma Termini and sometimes from Tiburtina.
A brief history of Gallese
Gallese is said to have been founded by a people of called Falisci. In Roman times it was an important trading town. In the course of the centuries the city was owned by many different families.
According to tradition, Gallese was founded by the chief of the Falisque tribe, Aleso.
Thanks to the settlement’s location along the Tiber River, it was an important trading town in Roman times. Its proximity to the consular roads Via Flaminia and Via Amerina was also important for this.
In the year 733, the town became the property of the church.
In the 11th century, it was conquered by Gerardo, the Count of Sutri.
After this, it was autonomous for a while before being conquered by Viterbo.
In the following centuries, several families controlled Gallese. Successively, the Orsini, the Spinello, the Della Rovere, the Carafa, the Madruzzo and the Altemps could count the town as their fief.
After the Middle Ages
The Palazzo Ducale was built in the Middle Ages. In the 16th century, it was remodelled by Giacomo della Porta.
In 1585, Pope Sixtus V proclaimed Gallese a duchy.
The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral was built in 1780.
In the 19th century, the Hardouin family took control of the town. In 1861, Pope Pius IX granted the title of count to this family.
The town’s name refers to its location and would originally have indicated that this was a very hot place.
The main attractions of the town are the medieval Palazzo Ducale, with its massive towers and the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral. Other churches are the San Famiano Church, the San Rocco Church, the Santa Lucia Church and the Sant’Agostino Church.
Events and festivals
On August 8, the feast day of the patron saint of the city is celebrated. The Festa di San Famiano is connected to a palio and a big market. Fireworks are set off from the city walls.