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Velletri, Province of Roma, Lazio

The town rises on a hill, Monte Artemisio, in the southern part of the Colli Albani, and offers a wonderful view on the Pontina Plain. It is one of the communes known together as Castelli Romani, and is renowned as one of the main centres for wine production in Latium.

Info

  • Altitude: 332 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 53,000 inhabitants in 2010
  • Zip/postal code: 00049
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 06
  • Patron Saint: St. Clemente, celebrated on 23rd November.
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Provinces of Lazio

Administrative divisions

  • The urban centre is divided into six quarters called "Decarcie": Portella, Collicello, Santa Maria, Castello, Santa Lucia, San Salvatore.
  • The large countryside is instead divided into a great many "contrade": Acquavivola, Arcioni, Campetto dei Macellari, Capitancelli, Carbonara, Casal Ginnetti, Casale, Case Nuove, Ceppeta, Cigliolo, Cinque Archi, Colle Calcagno, Colle Caldara, Colle Carciano, Colle Catalini, Colle dei Marmi, Colle del Vescovo, Colle d'Oro, Colle Formica, Colle Giorgi, Colle Ionci, Colle Noce, Colle Ospedale, Colle Ottone, Colle Perino, Colle Petrone, Colle Piombo, Colle Rosso, Colle Salvia, Colle San Clemente, Colle San Francesco, Colle San Giovanni, Colle Stringa, Colle Zioni, Colonnella, Comune, Fienili, Fontana Fiume, Fossatello, Giannottola, La Chiusa, La Faiola, La Parata, Lazzaria, Le Corti, Lupacchiotti, Lupacchiotti, Malatesta, Mercatora, Morice, Muracce, Paganico, Papazzano, Peschio, Poggi d'Oro, Ponte di Mele, Ponte Massorano, Ponte Massorano, Pozzetti, Prato di maggio, Pratolungo, Rioli, S.Eurosia, Santo Tomao, Selvanova, Selvanova, Soleluna, Tevola, Troncavia, Ulica, Vascucce.

History

A settlement here existed since pre-historic times, though scholars debated if Etruscan, Latin or Volscan. During the reign of the Roman King Ancus Marcius in 494 BC the city was conquered by the Romans and called Velitrae, from the corresponding Volscan term Velcester. It became a flourshing Roman municipium and a site patrician villas, temples and an amphitheatre. The gens Octavia came from Velitrae: his most famous member was Augustus, who spent his youth there.

In the 5th century AD it was the seat of a bishopric and in the following one it became an imperial city after the Byzantine reconquest of Italy. In the Middle Ages it started a diffucult recover, culminating in the 12th century with its declaration as a free commune. In the 14th and in the first half of the 15th centuries Velletri fought against the commune of Rome and the barons of Lazio, and later became part of the Church State. Between September 2, 1943, and June 2, 1944, Velletri was heavily bombed by the Allied Powers.

What to see

  • The Palazzo Comunale, with a porch entrance, begun in 1572 by Giacomo della Porta on a design by Vignola and finished in 1741 by Filippo Barigioni, houses the City's Archaeological Museum.
  • The Cathedral of San Clemente, erected in the 4th century over the ruins of an ancient temple. It has three naves and was rebuilt in the current form in 1659-1662. The Renaissance gate is by Traiano da Palestrina (1512). The interior has several frescoes, while the Capitular Museum houses important relics and paintings by Gentile da Fabriano and Antoniazzo Romano.
  • The Tempietto Bramantesco, constructed by Alessandro da Parma in 1523.

Where to stay in Velletri