The four USAC American students greet the readers of TusciaUp and confess the place of the heart.
Hannah: My favorite place L’Antica Latteria Via della Verità, 25
Of all the spots in Viterbo, I found myself spending many afternoons in the colorful
L’antica Latteria located just inside Porta Verita. The Latteria, which has been around since the 1960’s, continues today to be one of the most charming spots in the city. With its views of the neighborhood park and various small businesses, the store has an incredibly welcoming feel.
When entering the shop, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the cakes, pastries,
chocolates, and gelatos that they make fresh in store. They offer both indoor and outdoor
seating, as well as an array of teas and hot beverages. The Latteria encourages people of all ages to enjoy one another’s company, and has created such a palpable sense of community with its customers.
It has been a delight watching the flavors and pastries change along with the seasons
and holidays (some of my favorite seasonal flavors including fresh peach, raw pistachio, and sour cherry). As my time in Viterbo comes to a close, I will always appreciate the quintessential Italian nature of the Latteria, and the spirit that it has kept alive.
Benjamin: The favorite place in Viterbo is piazza san Lorenzo
If I had to choose a favorite place in Viterbo, I would choose the Piazza di San Lorenzo. Piazza di San Lorenzo connects the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo to the Palazza dei Papi di Viterbo and is a very important and historic part of the city of Viterbo. Everything about this area in Viterbo is perfect; the history, atmosphere, and architecture make it my personal favorite part of Viterbo. As a history major, I am drawn to this place as many important things took place in the buildings surrounding the piazza. The history behind the Palace of the Popes is what first got me interested in the area and was one of the first places I visited when I first arrived. While I was there, I went into the museum and discovered more about the history of the square and the palace. In 1257, Pope Alexander IV moved the Papal Curia to Viterbo and lived there due to the constant urban violence experienced in Rome. Viterbo would remain to house popes until 1281 and in that time, the Palace of the Popes was created. Built in 1266, the palace was made to house several popes during their time in Viterbo. Overall, the palace would house nine popes and witness the longest papal election. According to the museum, when it was time to declare a new pope, the cardinals went into the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and discussed who should become the new pope. During this time, no one was allowed to enter the building and the people of Viterbo had to supply them with food and water. This would go on for three years and so the townspeople, fed up with their indecisive ways, took off the roof of the cathedral and gave them no food. After three more days, a new pope was finally announced and Pope Gregory X ascended to the Holy See. This brings us to the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, this cathedral is also very important and has a rich history. Said to have been built on the site of the Etruscan temple to Hercules, the church was originally a small parish dedicated to Saint Lawrence. It would rise in relevance when Viterbo became home to the papal throne. It was here that the longest papal election was carried out. Unfortunately the cathedral was mostly destroyed during World War Two and so much of the original building is now gone. However, thanks to some photographs taken before the war, the people of Viterbo were able to rebuild it to its former glory. The Piazza di San Lorenzo connecting these two buildings makes for a normally empty, beautiful, and quiet place. Perfect for those wanting to read a book or simply enjoy nature as the views from the palace are amazing. The architecture of both buildings is very medieval, the palace having ornate arches that make the place look like it is from a fantasy book. Because of this, this square has become my favorite place to visit whenever I have a need to relax and read.
Wilder: My place of the heart, the sunset in via san Clemente
In my time here in Viterbo there have been a few places that I’ve come to frequent,
however rather than any Bar or Pizzaria the spot in town that has been the most important to me is Via San Clemente. It’s a little road that runs just behind the Palazzo dei Papi and, in my opinion, is the best place in town to watch the sunset. It’s usually empty, even at the best spots, except for other lost people on a walk at sundown. I find that no matter where my walk starts, or where it’s meant to end, I always end up on Via San Clemente. It’s close to all the important areas, just on the edge of the San Pellegrino district, and right across from San Faustino. Like Piazza San Pellegrino serves as a nice little escape from the high energy that permeates the rest of both of these districts. It’s my personal favorite place to walk and get my thoughts in order, or as a stop on my frequent escapes from a night out in San Pellegrino. Or to wander through on my way home from a morning in San Faustino. So even though it isn’t a shop or bar, I think it is a little corner of Viterbo that should not be missed out on.
Sebe: My favorite place: Caffè Valentino at Porta della Verità
My favorite place in Viterbo, or ‘il mio posto di cuore,’ is without a doubt Caffe Valentino located in Piazza della Verità. It was one of the first places I went to in this city, and immediately, I was welcomed with open arms. Shortly after our arrival and an extremely long week of lessons, my fellow classmates and I were in search of food and a place to unpack our new lives here in Italy. Situated less than ten minutes from the university at which we study, we stumbled into Caffe Valentino and were instantly taken with the place. Upon walking in, you are met with fun, upbeat music and a booming welcome from the cafe’s owner, Fausto. His large smile and warm welcome made us feel like we belonged, which is difficult to find in general, let alone as newcomers in a foreign country. Ever since that day, it became our regular spot, always being met with kindness from the employees and made perfect with a delicious meal and hot coffee. To be completely honest, I have not quite mastered the Italian language in the way that I had hoped for at the beginning of the semester, but despite the language barrier, I never once felt like a stranger. Getting to know Fausto and the people at Caffe Valentino has most definitely been one of the highlights of this experience and I will miss them immensely once I return to America. The hours I spent in that cafe with friends, both new and old, will not soon be forgotten.
Happy return to America to young students and good future Up!