The seat of the papacy for 24 years in the 13th century, Viterbo is also known as "The City of the Popes".
Viterbo is characterised by a historical centre which, despite the recent industrialisation of its province, has remained completely unchanged since the 13th century. A stroll through its streets is therefore a bit like a journey through time. From the 11th till the 13th century, Viterbo, despite its relatively small size, was more popular than Rome. During this period, the city saw the construction of some of its most beautiful sights, such as Plebiscito Square (the centre of social life) and San Lorenzo Square, with the church that bears the same name and dates back to the year 1100. It has undergone several renovations since. Built between 1255 and 1276, the Papal palace was the stage of many a significant event marking the religious history of the region. It is a rather austere building, as seen in the crenellations of the fašade and the adjacent loggia, with its seven archways and a fountain. However, the most interesting place in Viterbo is perhaps the area of San Pellegrino, where, with its narrow lanes, exterior staircases, and ancient houses, you'll get the uncanny feeling of being in a medieval market town.