Soriano Nel Cimino
by Emily Swett, USAC intern
The small town of Soriano Nel Cimino is home to one of the largest Chestnut festivals in the Tuscia area. A short twenty-minute scenic train ride from Viterbo on the RMVT, Soriano is a hidden hill town that was discreated during the second world war. Walking the path from the train station to the main piazza of Soriano, you will encounter a beautiful pond full of swan and goldfish as well as multiple fountains. Walking up the stairs to the piazza you will enter the square facing the glorious church of Saint Nicholas.
If you have time and find an interest, the Saint Nicholas’ church in Soriano have marvelous artwork and a short peruse of the relics housed at the front of each church will enchant any visitor. The décor for the chestnut festival was reminiscent of the Santa Rosa parade in Viterbo, medieval flags and crests hanging from each window and building.
The oldest part of the city is the square behind the famous clock tower. During the allied invasion of Italy, pamphlets were once dropped warning residents that their town was going to be bombed. Many fled into the surrounding hill tops bringing priceless artwork and relics with them. Those who chose to stay, disbelieving the American intent to bomb the city, lost their lives when Soriano was leveled to the ground. This tragic story is kept alive by locals who can often recount where their parents or grandparents were during World War Two. Like so many cities across Europe, even Tuscia cities have been touched by the destructive world wars.
The café behind the clock tower serves incredible pizza, the cheese oozing from every bite.
The castle behind the clock tower once belonged to a powerful family, the Orsini, whose crest can be seen hanging from flag poles across the piazza. Re-constructed after world war two, the castle was then used as a prison thanks to its dungeons and limited window space. The castle is currently a museum housing the history of Soriano.