Life/ Visit to the medieval district of Viterbo

di Wilder Yaconelli e Benjamin Agard

The Palace of the Popes

A trip to Viterbo would be incomplete without a walk through the medieval quarter. It stretches from the Palazzo dei Papi to the Piazza della Rocca, and is the self described heart of the city. If Viterbo were a house, the medieval quarter would be its living room. During the day, wander its meandering tiny streets that turn circles and end for seemingly no reason, and are crammed with museums and art studios which open and close without rhythm. Every little studio is a world of its own with every possible type of art being represented somewhere. The museums are tucked into little corners all across the quarter and can cast a light on the history of the town, covering subjects from popes and rulers to local traditions and festivals. Sit in the piazze and watch gangs of unruly children leap at tourists and locals, beating them with bats and the handles of their scooters. Eat in traditional restaurants that carefully prepare recipes that are older than the chef’s grandfather, and in modern ones where your hotdog is doused in mayonnaise and thrown at you. Tour the beautiful Piazze, Piazza San Pellegrino is the heart and namesake of this quarter. Although it is located just a little away from most of the nightlife leaving it empty most of the time, it’s a good spot to slip away to when you need a break from the crowds, as the only other people you will find are other escapees and couples looking for peace and quiet. Other Piazze lack the unique peacefulness of San Pellegrino and are instead lit with dozens of hanging orange globe lights, and are filled with restaurants and bars and people eating and drinking in them. During festivals people crowd the comfortable streets and piazze, as the smells from food trucks draw them from all across the city. They bounce from church to church to palace, and get lost for hours on end in the winding back streets. As night falls the artists and craftsmen close their shops and step across the streets into the freshly opened bars and pubs. The alleys fill with the scent of cigarette smoke, and with lost drunks singing joyful and off key. Turn onto the wrong street and be met with a gang of cats leaned up against trash cans, and lying on stoops. Turn onto the right one and you’ll find a million little bars full of people and clinking glasses. The medieval quarter is a place of opposites, the ancient and the modern happily run into each other and fall over in its cramped cobble streets.

Article author

My name is Wilder Yaconelli I am from Northern California near San Francisco. I study English at cal poly Humboldt. I am studying in viterbo for two semesters because I want to become fluent in Italian language. My family is from Lazio and I hope to reconnect with them while I am here. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work on a magazine. 

Mi chiamo Wilder Yaconelli  vengo dalla California del Nord vicino a San Francisco. Studio l’inglese al cal poly Humboldt. Sto studiando a Viterbo per due semestri perché voglio diventare fluente in lingua italiana. La mia famiglia è laziale e spero di riconnettermi con loro mentre sono qui. Sono entusiasta di avere questa opportunità di scrivere su una testata on line.

Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista: ancient church built in 1675. It is a great example of the Baroque art style.

Photographic author

My name is Benjamin Agard and I am from Illinois, USA. I am studying History with a minor in Global Studies at Illinois College, Jacksonville. I am studying abroad in Viterbo for the fall semester to learn more about the Italian language, history and culture. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to pursue my passion of learning more about different cultures!

Mi chiamo Benjamin Agard e vengo dall’Illinois, USA. Sto studiando Storia con un minore in Studi Globali presso l’Illinois College, Jacksonville. Sto studiando all’estero a Viterbo per il semestre autunnale per conoscere meglio la lingua, la storia e la cultura italiana. Sono entusiasta di avere questa opportunità di perseguire la mia passione di imparare di più su culture diverse!