Viterbo, Province of Viterbo, Lazio
Viterbo is approximately 100 kilometers north of Rome and is famous as "the town of the Popes", for the country residence the Popes had here; thus it became the site of important councils. Its beautiful historical center was conceived in the Middle Ages and preserves the essential style of the medieval architecture of central Italy, with many palaces. The town hosts an important Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Tuscia and a wide thermal area.
- Altitude: 326 m a.s.l
- Population: about 64,000 inhabitants in 2011
- Zip/postal code: 01100
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0761
- Patron Saint: Santa Rosa from Viterbo, celebrated on 4 September; Saints Martyrs Valentino and Ilario, celebrated on 3rd November
- Frazioni & Localities: Bagnaia, Castel d'Asso, Fastello, Grotte Santo Stefano, La Quercia, Montecalvello, Monterazzano, Ponte di Cetti, Roccalvecce, Sant'Angelo di Roccalvecce, San Martino al Cimino, Tobia, Vallebona.
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It was once presumed to have been founded by Etruscans, but the source of this belief, still not eradicated from the popular mind, was the work of one of its more colorful natives, a medieval forger named Annio.
- The transport of the "Macchina di Santa Rosa" takes place every year, on September 3, at 9 o'clock in the evening. The Macchina is an artistic illuminated bell-tower with an imposing height of 30 m. It weighs between 3.5 and 5 tonnes and is made of iron, wood and papier-mâché. At the top of the tower, the statue of the Patron Saint is enthusiastically acclaimed by the people in the streets of the town centre, where lights are turned off for the occasion. One hundred Viterbesi men (known as the Facchini) carry the Macchina from Porta Romana through the major streets of Viterbo, concluding with a strenuous ascension up to the Piazza di Santa Rosa, its final resting place. Each Macchina has a life span of five years, after which a new one is built.