LIFE/ Anna Matteucci: Daydreaming in the Piazza San Lorenzo


After only a few short weeks in Viterbo I can confidently say I have found my favorite location in town to sit, appreciate the city that is now my home, and complete the Italian homework I’ve postponed until the day before class. The Piazza San Lorenzo is located on the Northwest side of Viterbo inside the medieval wall and is the home to one of the most stunning architectural pieces in Viterbo: the Palazzo dei Papi.

The Palazzo dei Papi stands proudly as the focal point and basis for the piazza. The palace was erected in 1255, making the palace a piece of living history that adds an abundant amount of color to the city. Although the history that can be found here is enough for anyone to fall in love with the piazza, I believe it is the demeanor of the buildings and architectural structure that drew me in initially.

I’ve found that the steps leading up to the terrace overlooking the park seem to have an enchanting quality about them at dawn before the bustling activity of the day hinders the serenity. The sun falls onto the piazza slowly, illuminating the archways and relief facing the piazza and on the cathedral. Sitting on the terrace I make myself comfortable and find that the time seems to halt as I write while taking in the view overlooking the greenery and city skyline. Early English style archways line the platform, fabricating the idea in my mind that I’ve stepped onto the scene of a romantic film.

It’s the atmosphere here that really captivates the mind. I wonder about the people who have walked these steps before me, what their lives were like, and what thoughts clouded their minds as they sat where I do now. Being in such a prominent location incites the feeling that I am more immersed in the Italian culture here than anywhere else in Viterbo.

At night when I venture out to the piazza I find myself looking up at the San Lorenzo Cathedral. Dedicated to one of the town’s patron saints the marvel is highlighted in the shadows formed from the lights in the tower. Lovers and passersby alike savor the scene while the bustle and music can be heard from the nightlife located in the nearby Piazza della Morte. It’s the sheer size of the façade in the twilight that bestows upon me the notion that I am only a small part of this community; I’m simply an outsider who’s been granted an amazing opportunity to join the ranks temporarily.

Ciao! mi chiamo Anna Matteucci e vengo da Seattle, Washington. Studio Scienze Politiche ed Economia all’Università dell’Idaho. Sono una tifosa accanita del football americano FORZA SEAHAWKS! e amo il posto che chiamo casa. Ho deciso di studiare a Viterbo per godere del cibo e della cultura italiana. Il Lazio mi ha sempre attratto per via dei paesaggi collinari che creano scenari mozzafiato. Negli Stati Uniti vivo con mia madre e il mio patrigno in estate e quando sono all’università vivo con il mio ragazzo. Ho un gatto e mi piace il colore arancione. Sono una persona estremamente socievole e non vedo l’ora di raccontare la mia esperienza qui a Viterbo.