Grotte di Castro has just under three thousand inhabitants and is located in the northern part of the province of Viterbo. The town was named after the caves in which the inhabitants used to hide during the Lombard invasions. The most important sights are the San Giovanni Battista Basilica and a number of Etruscan tombs.
Grotte di Castro city guide
The address of the town hall is Piazza Matteotti – 01025 Grotte di Castro (tel. +39 0763798002). The ZIP code is 01025 and the area code is 0763.
By car/public transport
Public transport: From Viterbo, Autolinee Troiani offers a not very frequent bus service to Grotte di Castro. From Rome, it is best to travel first to Viterbo and then on to your destination.
A brief history of Grotte di Castro
The area was already inhabited in Etruscan times. When the Lombards invaded, the inhabitants took refuge in caves dug into the tuff stone underground. In the 8th century, Charlemagne gifted the town to the Church. From 1537, for an entire century, it was in the hands of the Farnese family. After that the church took over again.
Outside the town centre, there are several sites with Etruscan tombs. These date from the 7th to the 5th century B.C. The main attraction is the San Giovanni Battista Basilica. Other attractions are the Santa Maria del Suffragio Church and the Palazzo Comunale.
Events and Festivals
Every year around Ferragosto (15th August) there is a festival dedicated to the potato (Sagra della Patata). In the second half of July, under the name of I Sapori del Borgo (“The Taste of the Castle”), one can take a walk through the town and enjoy the local culinary specialities in various places.