The Via Cavour is a fairly new addition to the street plan of Viterbo. It was one of the first streets to runs straight through the centre of the city, instead of meandering through it. Later the street was extended with what is now the Via Garibaldi.
Via Cavour Viterbo
The Via Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour looks different from most streets in the historic centre of Viterbo.
In the second half of the 16th century, after the new town hall had been built, streets had to be constructed in order to ensure that this new town centre could also be reached quickly.
In the past, the city centre used to be located between the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza del Gesù. The main road used to connect the Monti Cimini with the Cathedral and finally with the consular road Via Cassia through the Porta Vallia (now Porta San Leonardo) and the Piazza San Silvestro.
Cardinal Alessandro Farnese ordered the construction of a wide, straight street connecting Piazza del Comune with the Piazza Fontana Grande. Some houses needed to be demolished in orde rto be able to do this. To compensate the owners of these properties, a tax of one silver coin per quantity of ground grain was levied.
Initially the street was called Via Farnesiana, although the locals generally referred to it as Strada Nuova. After the unification of Italy, in 1870, the name was changed to Via Cavour.
The governor of Viterbo, Michelangelo de’ Conti, who would later become Pope Innocenzo XIII, later had the Via Cavour extended from the Piazza della Fontana Grande to the Porta Romana.
This street was also originally named after its builder, but was renamed Via Garibaldi after the unification of Italy.