Sunday, May 3, 2015

Flower Festival in Viterbo - San Pellegrino in fiore

May 2, 2015

Green landscapes and enchanting Medieval villages characterize the Tuscia zone and its capital, Viterbo. It is an oasis of good food and relaxation, situated amidst the legacies of the Etruscans and the Via Francigena, where the rhythms of life from the mountains to the sea are dictated by nature and the age-old customs of peasant life.

Various local finds suggests the site has ancient, though probably humble, origins. This area was the centre of the Etruscan civilisation, whose remains are dotted around the countryside, and a later Roman town was situated nearby at Ferento (Roman Ferentum). It was in the Middle Ages, however, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, that Viterbo attained real importance. While the city of Rome struggled through chaos and feuding, Viterbo became a favourite refuge for embattled popes. It may seem surprising now, but there was a time when Viterbo was larger and more successful than Rome, and much of its fine architecture, such as the Papal Palace, dates to this era. Later, the town faded in importance (its population today is approximately the same as it was then). Prior to the unification of Italy, Viterbo formed part of the Papal States. Now it sits quietly in an area usually overlooked by foreign tourists.

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