Viterbo, a Perfect Mediaeval City

If you look at the Viterbo city map, you’ll understand what I mean by the title. I’ve never seen before a modern city completely encircled by mediaeval walls built in the 11th-12th centuries. The walls are very high, strong and well preserved, and 13 beautiful ancient gates lead to the city. The road traffic within the walls complies with mediaeval city planning. Very few bus lines cross the center since buses run round outside perimeter of the walls. Cobble-stoned streets are very narrow and often they don’t have foot walks. Meanwhile, the locals drive very fast along close and twisting lanes. Rare pedestrians have to press themselves to buildings.

Notwithstanding certain inconveniencies, we enjoyed walking about the town. The city not only has preserved the mediaeval planning but whole streets built up with austere ancient houses, mansions of nobility with Gothic windows and coats of arms and high square towers. Many of the older buildings
(particularly churches) are built on top of ancient ruins, recognizable by their large stones, 50 centimeters to a side. Especially in the evening, the city seemed to be genuinely mediaeval.

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4 Responses to “Viterbo, a Perfect Mediaeval City”

  1. Thank you for this great information about Viterbo Tatiana! I’ve added it to my list of places in Italy that I want to visit! Looking forward to your posts about the Duomo and the Papal Palace and I’d also be interested to read about the thermal hot springs that you went to there…

    • Thank you very much, Nora! Glad you like my story about Viterbo, you’ll certainly love its mediaeval spirit. I’m going to write about thermal baths in the nearest future.

  2. Жители Витербо уважали себя, поэтому делали такие ворота в стенах города. Сейчас ставят просто шлагбаум. Скучно.

    • Ворота им служили еще и для сбора таможенной пошлины. Мне всегда нравились средневековые городские ворота.

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