Top 5 reasons to visit Viterbo
by Brigid Cook USAC student
After Living in Viterbo for some time now I am left shocked that the Tuscia region is so often overlooked. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of this stunning area until signing up for a random study abroad program and moving here. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to live here and experience the real Italy, instead of a more commercial area, like Rome. In my experience, the problem with more commercial areas is that you have to go looking for authentic experiences. The Tuscia region is the perfect mix of contrasting landscapes and real culture. So I’ve compiled a list of just some of the reasons you should choose to visit Viterbo and the surrounding area.
- Viterbo isn’t a major tourist destination
Whilst the Tuscia region is located very close to Rome, it remains a destination that is not flooded with tourists. Meaning that the local culture and heritage are not lost due to commercial tourism. As a result the streets are crawling with history and authentic Italy as opposed to hordes of tourists.
- Viterbo is surrounded by many beautiful places
The Tuscia region is massive with a huge contrast of different landscapes and experiences. From small towns, to volcanic lakes, to spectacular monuments from history the region has a little bit of everything. With an easy to navigate public transport system one can see places such as Villa Lante; a stunning renaissance garden, or bathe in natural hot springs. Beaches, lakes, farms and towns are just some of the contrasting landscapes Viterbo has to offer.
- Unique experiences unlike any other
Viterbo is all about responsible and ethical tourism, as well as adsorbing the quirky magic of the town. In the Tuscia region you can join in real archaeological digs, learn hands on painting and crafting from real artists and learn all about real Italian cuisine. Have a look at the inTuscia website for more information on experiencing the real Italy, in a fun and creative way.
- Rich unique history
Viterbo dates its history all the way back to Before Christ, it was once home to the Etruscans before ultimately being concurred by the Romans. Around the 13th century, was a period whereby the Pope’s were struggling to assert their dominance over their following in Rome. As a result Viterbo became home to Pope’s who preferred this beautiful city to take up residence. Funnily enough Viterbo’s history focuses more on significant women, rather than men, with many examples of strong female characters shaping Viterbo’s culture.
- The Tuscia region knows how to celebrate!
There are so many unique festivals and celebrations all throughout the Tuscia region. Bagnaia, hosts an epic bonfire night filled with laughter, mulled wine and live music. Viterbo hosts an annual parade filled with wacky and creative costumes. For Easter, there are recreations of Jesus carrying a cross through the streets, as well as family picnics in the countryside. A favorite of most people in this region is the Macchina Di Santa Rosa, an event that celebrates Saint Rose of Viterbo. Every year in September 100 men hoist the Macchina on their backs and parade it through the town. Each one of these events are absolutely spectacular and give tourists a true insight into Italy’s rich culture.