Return to Tuscan. On the way to Tuscany through Lazio. Viterbo
I learned about the existence of Viterbo quite recently when the joint efforts of our glorious team were laid from Rome Airport towards Tuscany. And this small, but very old town with a rich history has become a real discovery for me, and what could be better than interesting discoveries on the way!
Unfortunately, the delay in the car rolling office reduced us at the inspection of Viterbo, so the main historical sights of the medieval papal city and the view from the observation deck had to be sacrificed. However, I was still more attracted here an old medieval quarter, perfectly preserved to the present day and the weakening name "Quarter Pilgrimov", As a place where you can mostly plunge into the atmosphere of the past. Since our apartments were conveniently located relative to the old city, it gave us the opportunity to wander through the old streets and after the onset of darkness, and in the morning before leaving, when the city is not yet flooded with tourists of all the masters.
And admire here exactly what. How to make sure many travelers who visited here, this quarter is really very well preserved for his age. Here it is very easy to imagine how the life of a medieval city among these gloomy houses, built in the 12-13 centuries of gray tufniki – peter.
Once on its path to holy places in this part of the city, pilgrims were found, so the street on which the house was located, and is called Via S. Pellegrino, there is also Chisa Di San Pellegrino church and Piazza Pellego Square, with its harsh beauty conquered thousands of hearts of travelers.
I am addicted to the admiration of the desire of local residents to add paints and lives an ancient gloomy stones, as cold as possible and decorating the space.
One of our hosts on the route was very definitely expressed about it, saying that they (Italians) do nothing simply to do, they must certainly do it beautifully, and to make it most aesthetically. And indeed it is! Where, like not in Italy, people know how to appreciate the beautiful, and see beauty in everything, and bring it into all spheres of life!
Preparing for the trip, I read about the remarkable and completely charming features of the architectural appearance of the city – small loggias with the stairs leading to them with the name "Prof.". Now these stone stairs are cozy cozy with floral pots, and in the past they performed quite practical functions, primarily protective. Such a staircase assumed the only access to the residential premises on the second floor, it was specially arranged on the right side of the house and was not supplied with the railings so that in case of invasion, the attacker could not fully use the sword – would interfere with the wall, and those who defended them could easily post it with steps. The functional application of this kind of structures was the ability to shut down under the protruding loggia on the second floor of the shop, where the goods were easy to hide from the rain.
Another interesting feature of the "papal" city is a large number of fountains. In the old days, Viterbo was known as the city of 100 towers and 100 fountains, but before our times have been preserved, of course, not all. In every area there was his own fountain, they, as it were, denoted the boundaries of areas. This is now these samples of medieval architecture and engineering skills. Rather, decorating urban areas, and in the old days they solved the domestic needs of the city. The city government has existed a special department, which watched the purity of water in the fountains and the influx against them. Areas financed the content of their fountains, and for the improper service of the violators fined.
The biggest fountain of the traveler at the entrance to the city through Porta Romana is the impressive Fontana Grande fountain, with the ladder leading to it in the form of the Greek Cross, and five poles in the form of lion’s heads. These heads appeared later after his restructuring in the 15th century, but the base in the Gothic style dates back to 1212nd, although the first evidence of the existence of the fountain is documented as much as in 1192-and-year. Water into this source, as in the 13th century, comes from the monumental Roman aqueduct built in the vicinity of the city in the 1st century of our era! The quality of water is strictly followed, Fountain Grande had to be cleaned every 2 weeks, because it was used more often than others. For the use of the source, the tax was charged, and the violators who dared to pollute the source, wrapped in it, for example, were punished with fines.
Another fair and favorite fountain is located on Piazza Dell’erbe and is called Fontana Di Santo Stefano. Once on this area there was a vegetable market and fruit market, subsequently this area has become a favorite site of walking. The fountain here existed in the 15th century, later he came to such a bad state that he had to capitally reconstruct him. And as a result of the work carried out, in addition to technological improvements, acquired a new sculptural appearance in the form of shapes of stone lions, because the lion is a heraldic symbol of Viterbo.
Images of Lviv are found here everywhere, in sculptural and stucco decorations, on the facades of houses and in the images of the coat of arms. After all, it is believed that the city created Etruscans back long before the arrival of the Romans! And according to one of the legends, the founder of the city was considered the mythical hero Hercules, his symbol and is the lion on the coat of arms of the city.
Another beautiful source with lions is located in the courtyard Palazzo Dei Priori . Strictly speaking, here there are 3 fountains, 2 of them are small and located in the niches of balustrades on the sides from the main source, which attracts all the attention. He, too, as well as Fountain Grande, will raise a few steps from the ground level, two oval bowls are decorated, which are supported by stucco dolphins. In the completion of the composition, the fountain is decorated with two bronze lions and palm, because it is also part of Heraldry Viterbo, and was included in his coat of arms after in the early Middle Ages the smashed city swallowed the neighboring settlement of Fento, and its inhabitants, moving in Viterbo, brought an image of her Coat of arms with me.
Continuing its way to the main square of the city, we examined 2 more fountains. One of them is called Fontana Di Piazza Gesù, and is named so by the name of the neighboring church, once became the place of bloody massacre, which happened at the end of the 13th century, when the killing of a man of royal blood was committed right during the Mass.
One of the oldest fountains Viterbo Fontana San Tommaso is located on Piazza Della Morte Square, therefore is known as the "source of death". Appearing on this area in the middle of the 12th century, initially got its name by the name of the neighboring church San Tommaso. In the 16th century, the brotherhood settled in the monastery, which dedicated himself to prayer and providing assistance in the burial of the dead.
We managed to see only a few of the fountain wealth of Viterbo, with their organization and love for water this city a little reminded me of Rome, and I read a wonderful quotation from the book from the book of Pavel Muratov: "Nowhere is there such an abundance of gothic fountains, and, Consequently, in his feeling of water Viterbo ahead of Rome for several centuries ".
The next day, we were going to visit the delightful villa of Lanta, which is located a few kilometers from the city, and continue to get acquainted in the fountain art of these places.
And the nice city of Viterboy presented to us a wonderful surprise! On this day, the city noted one of the oldest religious holidays – the feast of the Saint Savior, and we witnessed the procession and costume procession on the central street of the city.
About 60 representatives of urban guilds who carry their banners and the ancient tools of labor took part in the procession, and the icon was solemn, which was miraculously was found in 1283.
And yet the main historical landmark of this place is San Lorenzo Square with the Cathedral of the same name and Palazzo Dei Papi Di Viterbo Papi Di Viterbo . After all, it was this city for a while also became a refuge, and the residence of the Dad.
And it was here that in 1281 an unprecedented episode occurred in the history of the papacy, thanks to which the tradition of holding a conclave – a closed assembly of cardinals appeared, as a result of which the new chapter of the Church was proclaimed. After the death of the Pope Clement IV, the meeting of the ministers of the Catholic Church could not determine the name of the new pontiff. These elections were delayed at for three years! During this time, some of the choices even left this world. But the fathers of the church could agree on each other. And then they simply locked them on the key, offered bread and water as food, and as an additional stimulation of the thought process, the temperature of the room was lowered, swaying the roof of the palace- 🙂 It is necessary to say that the process went faster, and in the end the new dad – Grigory X was elected. And the rules for the electoral procedure tightened. Cardinals should be isolated from the outside world, but to be in the same room at all, without having the right to separate rooms. Three days later, reflections, the diet of the priests were limited to one dish per day, if the process was delayed on more than five days, and translated into bread and water. In addition, during the election of the new Pontification, the cardinals did not receive income, so – yes, it should be thought that such a set of measures was very effective. Since then, it happens, the conclusion is closed on the key for the time of re-election of the head of the church, strictly speaking, "CONCLAVE" ("CUM CLAVE") in Latin and means "under the key". Nowadays, this happens in the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
In the Papal Palace, we did not get this time, inspecting the hall, where the cardinals were locked on the key, remained another time. On San Lorenzo Square immediately attracts the look of a beautiful gothic stone loggia, which adjoins the palace and now represents the surviving 7 openwork arches with stone thread. Roof of the loggia "Delle Benedizioni" collapsed in the 14th century, and it was not restored. Now it is an elegant stone balcony, decorated with a fountain.
Going inside did not work, the gate was locked, and I could not admire the loggia from the inside, it is likely that access is possible only from the palace in the watch of his visit.
This loggia, like several other old corners of Viterbo became decorations for recently released on the screens of the series "Medici. Lords of Florence ". And, like us in our journey, the viewer falls in Viterbo with the heroes of the narration almost immediately, in the first series. Inside this loggia, Kozimo and Lorenzo Medici are found to discuss the possibilities of bribing the cardinals when choosing a dad. On the steps of the loggia, they take a rather brazen such attempt – 🙂
On the streets of the quarter of Pilgrims, the newly elected method of multiple bribers and blackmail dad, and if it is very accurate, this episode was shot on Via S Street. Pellegrino. Just like the meeting scene of a young goat with a beloved.
I can only imagine how many movie masters these old quarters and gray stone walls inspired to work in the middle of a living story. Of course, the authors of the series about the family of Medici were also impressed, and I understand them! On the network laid out a number of documentary videos "Medici. BTS (Behind the Scene), where the authors, film crew and actors share their impressions about the creation of the film. On the other day, we left Viterbo to inspect the Villa Lanta, and what was my excitement, when and there I found traces of an extensive story about Medici. Moving further on our route, we found these traces and in the Val D’Orcha Valley, and further in Volterra, as if we were specially planned to travel at the following places. However, it was not the case, we simply instinctively chose the most authentic Tuscany towns and the most picturesque corners, so there is nothing surprising that in these places you constantly remove something, especially when it concerns the history of such an interesting surname as Medici.
And when the daylight flashes, and dusk shelters the ancient streets, and tourists become many times less, the feeling of involvement in the stories that once became even stronger here.