Montefiascone is located south east of Lake Bolsano in the province of Viterbo. The city, home of the Est! Est! Est! wine, has a beautiful historical center with lake views, a castle, ancient churches and lots of steps.
Montefiascone travel guide
Tourist information: The tourist information office is located in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. The extremely helpful staff gives out free maps and brochures of the city and its surroundings. Phone: +39 0761 832060.
Town hall: Largo Plebiscito, 1 – 01027 Montefiascone. Phone: +39 +39 0761 83201.
Railway station: There is no train station. Montepulcione can be reached by Cotral bus from Viterbo (Riello).
The most important churches of Montefiascone are the Cathedral of Santa Margherita and the ancient Church of San Flaviano.
The Cathedral was constructed in the 16th century by Michele Sanmicheli, a famous architect from Verona, who had also worked on the facade of the Cathedral of Orvieto. The dome was added in the 17th century, by Carlo Fontana. The facade is even more recent (1840).
The 11th century Romanesque San Flavio Church was constructed on top of an earlier building.
Other interesting churches are the Sant’Andrea Church and the San Bartolomeo Church.
The Santa Maria Church was constructed in the 16th century by Antonio da Dangallo the Younger.
At the top of the hill, you will find the Rocca dei Papi, a medieval castle with gorgeous views of both lake and countryside, and a museum.
A brief history of Montefiascone
As finds in the Rinaldone area (between Montefiascone and Viterbo) testify, the city was already inhabited in prehistoric times. There are traces of Etruscan and also of Roman settlements. Archaeological discoveries underneath the San Flaviano Church make it seem likely that the present city was constructed on top of a Roman settlement.
In the 8th century, Montefiascone became property of the church. During the war between the empire and the pope, it often offered refuge to the latter. This led to occupations by Otto IV and Frederick II of Swabia, however.
Montepulciano was subsequently conquered by the Prefetti di Vico, and then by Niccolò Fortebraccio (1434), before returning to the church.
In 1527, the city was sacked by the Lansquenets.
The 17th century witnessed an epidemic of the plague (1657) and an earthquake (1695).
Not long before that, Cardinal Marco Antonio Barbarigo had founded a seminarium in Montepulciano, which had given the town some of its luster back,
Until the unification of Italy, the city stayed in the hands of the church. After Nino Bixio and his troops had entered the city, a vote was held and only four people in the entire town turned out to be against Annexation to the newly founded country.
How to get to Montefiascone by car
The Strada Regionale SR2 (Via Cassia) leads from Rome all the way to Montefiascone.