Acquapendente, Province of Viterbo, Lazio
Situated along the via Cassia, this historical center along the border with Tuscany and Umbria on the Valley of the Paglie river also enjoys wonderful natural surroundings. Originally an Etruscan center, was a key checkpoint along the "via Francigena" the Lombard road connecting the North of Europe to Rome. The first mention of the name is in the 10th century in a document of Emperor Otto. In the 13th century Acquapendente was included in the church state, and became a flourishing crafts and commercial center.
- Altitude: 420 m a.s.l
- Population: about 5600 inhabitants in 2010
- Zip/postal code: 01021
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0763
- Frazioni & Localities: Torre Alfina, Trevinano
- Patron Saint: St. Ermete, celebrated on 28th August.
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What to see
- The Cathedral of San Sepolcro, 11th century, containing in the presbytery two fine bas-reliefs of the school of Agostino di Duccio. On the right there is the Altar of the holy Sacrament, in enameled terracotta. Of great interest is also the crypt of nine naves supported by 22 columns, below which there is a local ("sacellum") preserving the column of Christ's flagellation and parts of the Jerusalem tribunal.
- The church of San Francesco, built in 1149 with a great many paintings and frescoes, a finely carved Gothic-style portal and inside an invaluable wooden crucifix of the 13th century.
- The remains of the Walls. The original double circle of mighty walls were destroyed during the war with Orvieto in 1198, then rebuilt smaller, and in the 19th century restored and changed into houses.
- The church of Santa Vittoria with a wooden statue of the della Madonna del Fiore, made according to traditions form the chestnut tree of the miracle.
- The Torre Alfina, a small medieval borough situated on a volcanic hill with an imposing castle.
- The Natural Reserve Monte Rufeno, along the border with Umbria and Tuscany, with 27 ancient farms and a surface of 3000 hectares, with many horse tracks and mountain bike itineraries amid deep forests, inhabited by many bird species and the rare fresh-water tortoise.
- The Museo del Fiore, 5 Km from the town, hosted in an ancient farmhouse called Casale Giardino. The museum visit proceeds as a narration through pictures, panels, miniatures and computer systems, with also a lab to create little flower models. A section is also devoted to the history behind the tradition of the "Pugnaloni".
- Proceno, about 3 miles to the North, a small center of Etruscan origin with the fine Sforza Palace and a medieval citadel.
Events and Festivities
- Third Sunday in May, east of the Madonna del Fiore. with historical parade called "Pugnaloni", huge panels with allegorical paintings, covered with fresh flowers,taking their names from the "pugnoli", sticks used by peasants to clean their ploughs and originally decorated with flowers and carried in procession on the festive day.
- 13 June: feast of St.Anthony from Padua, with a long procession of people bearing huge candles.