Stories and Secrets of Viterbo
Buon giorno, and Welcome to Viterbo.
You should be standing to the right of the large arched entranceway, by the smaller pedestrian entrance. The large entrance is called the Porta Romana.
Viterbo is a medieval walled town dating from between the 1100s and 1200s. Its a place thats full of stories and secrets. I've been living in the area for about 25 years and whenever friends or family come to visit, I like to bring them to Viterbo for a taste of history and to see Europe’s best preserved medieval quarter.
The Porta Romana is the entrance door for those coming from Rome. It was built in 1653. These huge doors used to be closed at sun down, which was curfew time. This happened up until about 1870.
Have a look up at the doorway of the main entrance.
[2 SECOND PAUSE]
The doorway is decorated with plaques honoring the visits of two 17th century popes, Innocent X and Clement IX. Viterbo has always had close connections to the Papacy. Five popes were elected and lived here during the 1200s, in a time when Rome had become too dangerous.
During the assault by French troops in 1799, the besieged city invoked their patron saint, Rosa. They thanked her for their good fortune by having her statue placed above the doorway.
[1.5 SECOND PAUSE]
We'll shortly be walking through the pedestrian gateway and into Viterbo, to begin our visit.
Before we get going, let me briefly explain how VoiceMap works.
It uses your location to play audio automatically, at the right time and place. This means that you can put your phone away now. Don't worry if I'm silent for a while, when I'm not giving directions or telling stories. There's a map on your screen if you ever feel lost, and if you do get way off track without noticing, VoiceMap will let you know.
So, lets begin!
When you're ready, walk through the arched pedestrian entrance, and continue straight, past the car park. I'll meet you a little further ahead.