The Porta della Verità is a city gate in Viterbo. The name of this gate derives from a legend attached to the nearby church, concerning three girls who saw a vision of the Madonna, but were not believed.
Porta della Verità Viterbo
Address and opening hours
The Porta della Verità is located near the Museo Civico of Viterbo, at the beginning of Via della Verità. The monument can be viewed from outside.
History and description
The “Gate of Truth” dates back to the 12th century, but has been restored many times over the course of the centuries. The last time this happened was when Pope Benedict XIII visited Viterbo in 1728, to which the inscription on top of the gate bears witness. On the occasion of this event, the then very dilapidated gate was also widened.
The coats of arms of Pope Benedict XIII, the city of Viterbo and those of Governor Oddi and Bishop Sermattei can be seen above the gate.
The gate owes its name to a legend related to the ancient church located across the road. In 1446, the Madonna appeared here to three young girls who had come to pray in the church. The event came to the attention of the bishop, who, however, did not believe it. The girls stuck to their story and kept repeating, “It is the truth, it is the truth.” Thus the church came to be called Chiesa di Santa Maria della Verità and the gate was given the same name.
Before the gate received its current name, it was called Porta dell’Abate, also because of its proximity to the church.
There is a smaller entrance for pedestrians to the left of the main gate (seen from outside).
Garden (Giardino della Verità)
Apart from the already mentioned church, immediately inside the gate there is also a small garden with the same name. It is one of the few green areas within the city walls of Viterbo. Part of the garden is occupied by a children’s playground.