The main tourist attractions of Viterbo are largely found in the historic center of the city, although the Borgo San Martino in Cimino outside the city is also very interesting. Many of the main palaces in the city were built at the time the popes used to take refuge in the city.
Top 10 tourist attractions Viterbo
01. Palazzo Papale or Palazzo dei Papi
A long time ago, popes with problems used to take refuge in the Palazzo Papale. Also, the very first conclave in history was held here. It lasted so long that the cardinals were locked inside at some point, and told that they would only be freed once a new pope had been elected. It is also called Palazzo dei Papi.
02. San Lorenzo Cathedral
The San Lorenzo Cathedral was built in the 12th century, on a site where there had previously been a church built in 850. Highlights are a (copy of a) painting titled Madonna della Carbonara and the baptismal font from the 15th century.
03. Piazza del Plebiscito
The Piazza del Plebiscito is the most important square of Viterbo, especially because of the presence of the municipal buildings Palazzo dei Priori and Palazzo del Podestà.
04. Rocca Albornoz
The Rocca Albornoz is an ancient castle located just inside the old city walls, near the Porta Fiorentina city gate. Today, part of the fortress houses the National Archaeological Museum.
05. Villa Lante
The Villa Lante is a beautiful garden in the borough of Bagnaia. Although this villa has been in exitence since the 16th century, it did not receive its current name until a century later. Although Vignola was the official architect, it is not entirely clear what his contributions to the design were.
06. Terme dei Papi
Like the Villa Lante, the Terme dei Papi (“Baths of the Popes”) are located outside Viterbo itself. Used as far back as the time of the Etruscans and Romans, today the Baths have an entire industry built around them, with mud baths, hydro-massage and more.
07. San Pellegrino District
The medieval San Pellegrino district is one of the most picturesque parts of the city. It consists of a maze of extremely narrow alleys, since at the time they were built there were no wide vehicles and wider streets were therefore unnecessary.
08. San Silvestro Church
The San Silvestro Church (or Chiesa del Gesù) is located in the Piazza del Gesù. It has a memorial plaque for Henry of Corwall, who was murdered inside the church. The Torre del Borgognone is another tourist attraction in this square.
09. Fountain of the Lions
Wherever you are in Viterbo you can see images and statues of lions, which is explained by the fact that this animal is the symbol of the city. The Fountain of Lions is located in the Piazza delle Erbe.
10. Museo del Sodalizio Facchini di Santa Rosa
The Museo del Sodalizio Facchini di Santa Rosa is located in the Via di San Pellegrino. Here you can see mostly reproductions of the tower-like structure that is carried through the city once a year in honor of the local Saint Rosa.