The Piazza della Crocetta (“Square of the Little Cross”) is located in the centre of Viterbo. Santa Rosa, the city’s main saint, was originally buried in a church in this square.
Piazza della Crocetta Viterbo
History and description
The official name of the Piazza delle Crocette is Piazzetta di Santa Maria in Poggio. The name used by the inhabitants of Viterbo themselves is because the Padri Crociferi have been settled there since around 1606.
It is here that the history of Santa Rosa begins, with the “miracle of the jug”. When she came here one day to fill up a jug at the fountain, the jug of another young girl broke and she started to cry. Santa Rosa collected the fragments, put them together and the jug returned whole intact. A small statue of the saint was later placed on top of the fountain in memory of this event.
The little church (Chiesa della Crocetta) in the square has been reconstructed several times over and all hints of its medieval past have been lost. Santa Rosa, who died at a very young age , was buried here. When she appeared to the pope in a dream three times, he had her exhumed. Although she had been laid in the ground immediately, her body was found intact. She was then carried by four cardinals at the head of a procession to her current resting place.