Palazzo della Prefettura Viterbo

The Palazzo della Prefettura is one of the Palazzi Comunali facing the Piazza del Plebiscito in Viterbo. Although constructed in the Middle Ages, the building makes a more modern impression. It is also called Palazzo del Governo and used to be known as Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo.

Palazzo della Prefettura Viterbo

Useful information

Address: Piazza del Plebiscito – Viterbo. Phone: . The palazzo is not open to tourists. (Note that opening times and admission may be subject to change.)

Palazzo della Prefettura Viterbo
Palazzo della Prefettura

History and description

The Palazzo della Prefettura was completely reconstructed in 1771. The inscription on the marble belt course informs that the work had been commissioned by Cardinal Pallotta.

It had originally been constructed in 1247, as the seat of the Capitano del Popolo and the Priori.

In 1546, it was the seat of the Cavalieri del Giglio (“Knights of the Lily”), an order founded in Viterbo by Pope Paul III Farnese. Later it became the seat of the apostolic delegates and, subsequently, of the Governor of the Papal States.

What to see

Apart from the rather big coat of arms adorning the top floor, the facade has but few decorations.

The portal and balcony are made of a kind of stone called peperino, which is commonly used in the city. The lion has his face turned towards the Via San Lorenzo, which leads to the Cathedral of Viterbo.

Guelph lion, Palazzo della Prefettura
Guelph lion, on the corner of the Via San Lorenzo.

On the left corner you can see a column with the Viterbo (Guelph) lion. The column is of ancient Roman origin. It used to adorn the Palazzo dei Priori.

Courtyard Palazzo della Prefettura Viterbo
Fountain in the courtyard

The courtyard contains an ancient fountain, also decorated with a coat of arms.

Palazzo della Prefettura Viterbo


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