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Our house is in the heart of the Medieval Quarter of Viterbo, one of the most perfectly preserved, walled, medieval cities of Europe.
Although the walls date to the 12th century, the interior of our house has been renovated by an Italian specialist in historical buildings.
The house is three stories, with the typical 'proferlo' or exterior stairway leading to the small balcony with a great view over the city and nearby gardens of Paradosso. The upper story is a mezzanine which can be arranged into a twin or double bedded room and maintains the original medieval beamed ceiling and peperino (a volcanic rock) walls.
The floors are of Italian tiles throughout. The middle floor is the open plan living/sitting/dining area, and is a very bright, pleasant room with a window overlooking a neighbouring garden. This is quite a treat in the usual narrow medieval streets. The bathroom on this floor also has a window overlooking a garden to the back, and with both windows open, there is a lovely breeze on a hot summer day. On the lower floor is the large bedroom and luxury bathroom, both of which are very spacious. This room can also be converted to a twin or double room.
The walls of the house date to at least the year 1100 The area is famous for its spas with healing qualities and was the favored places for the popes to take the waters as in the luxurious 'Terme Dei Pape,' or Baths of the Popes. This is definitely a treat to be experienced at least once. The prices are very reasonable or one can just spend the day in the pool.
Ten minutes outside the city are the wooded hills of Mount Chimini, and Lake Vico. Lake Bolsena is 35 minutes to the North. The Lake is beautiful and perfect for a day trip. There are many interesting hilltop cities on the way, including Montefiascone, whose famous wine, 'Est Est Est', you can taste along the way. You will have a holiday with a difference!
There is a train to Rome every hour which takes about one hour 45 minutes. It is also possible to get the train to Florence or travel to Sienna for the day. The Mediterranean Sea is 30 minutes by car at Tarquinia where there is also a water park. Cities like Orvieto, Assisi, Bagnoreggio, Tivoli, are all possible in a day trip. There are just too many possible day trips to mention here but we have a folder with information, suggestions and maps for your convenience in the house.
The medieval quarter of Viterbo is famous for the antique shops, and craft shops of local artisans located on the famous 'Via San Pellegrino.' Our house is off this street. The local council will only permit these traders to rent in the area. However, around the corner you will find the local delicatessen and a few meters away, by the Fontana Grande, a delicatessen you will never want to leave. Restaurants abound with great variety in menus and all use fresh local ingredients.
The area abounds in Roman and Etruscan archaeological remains and the architecture is unique to the area and time. Garden lovers can visit the Villa Lante and the Tivoli gardens.
Viterbo is the perfect base for day trips to many parts of Italy, including the Adriatic coast, or Norcia in the mountains. You have the best of both worlds, the Peace and Quiet of the Medieval Quarter, and all the benefits of a thriving, modern, university city.
We are always happy to answer any questions our guests may have and strive to make their holiday in our home one they will always remember with a smile.
Keywords: Italy medieval House unique history archaeology architecture mountains lakes Rome peaceful genuine Italian experience.
Although our balcony is very small, we still dine al fresco, often with our neighbour Stefanie. The view is great, medieval houses rising above the nearby Paradosso gardens. Heaven in a tiny place....moreless
In nearby Bolsena, half an hours drive away, you can rent a boat. The lakeside is perfect for just sitting and reading your book or visit the town and castle. A great days outing. Wine tasting too....moreless
|Dates||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Nov 1 - Jan 14, 2015
3 night min stay
My Standard Rate
3 night min stay
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Viterbo is an area of historic architectural & archaeological importance. The word 'Conclave', describing the locking of the doors for the election of the pope was coined in the Papal Palace of Viterbo. (The locals got fed-up feeding the cardinals and their retinue and locked them in until they could agree on a candidate!) The Spa 'Termi Dei Papi,was used by the popes and includes a wonderful pool. One can simply spend the day by the pool which is in a beautiful park or try out the spa. Prices are very reasonable. The area is surrounded by scenic beauty, with Lakes Vico, Bolsena, Trasimeno and Bracciano nearby and the Mediterranean sea half an hour away. It is also possible to drive to the Adriatic sea and back in the same day as Viterbo is perfectly located for day trips. The Cimini mountains are just outside the city walls to the south and produce wonderful hazelnuts. There are picnic tables and walks in the woods. The famous Villa Lante is also less than half an hour away and well worth a visit.
Close to Rome, the train leaves every hour and takes an hour and forty minutes. Half an hour from Tuscany, the scenery from Rome to Viterbo is peaceful,with rural, farmland and views of the lakes. It is a very pleasant journey looking out at the scenery from the upper level of the train. In Rome,the train stops at St. Peter's or close to the tram at Trastevere, which will take you to Largo Argentina, - where Julius Caesar was assassinated as the Forum was being revamped at the time. This is a minute's walk from the Pantheon and close to Piazza Navona.
Immediately surrounding the house you will find Antique shops,and the Arts and Crafts shops of artisans. Summer Festivals include the flower festival when the streets are covered in flowers, the Opera, Literary and Arts Festivals and also the Medieval festival. The most famous festival, which has been deemed a Unesco World Heritage event, is the Festival of Santa Rosa, patron Saint of the town, held in the first week of September. It is well worth looking it up as no words can express the experience of seeing one hundred local men, who are so respected for their role in the festival and treated like heroes, lift a structure of five tons with the statue of Santa Rosa on top of it and all lit up with lamps and candles, and carry this structure, called the Macchina di Santa Rosa, around the medieval town.
Guided tours of local historical places are available and several museums are within walking distance. Interesting Festivals are held both in Viterbo and neighbouring towns throughout the year. Wine tasting can be enjoyed on the road from Viterbo to Montefiascone where the story of the wine called Est Est Est was discovered and is still made. The small towns around Lake Bolsena are a joy, each with its own character. The Saturday Market at Viterbo is a must for all ladies, but every visitor must experience the amazing Cafe Schenardi on Via Roma. This cafe is the place you will return to again and again. The local restaurants are numerous and beautifully located and use fresh local produce.
Bulicame, where the waters and volcanic mud used in the spa, rises in a park just meters from Terme dei Papi and is free to all. It was mentioned by Dante in his 'Inferno' (The only Pope in Dante's 'Paradiso' is buried in the cathedral of Viterbo, a few minutes walk from the house.
The hot water rises up from underground and bubbles over the land, creating shelves of rock-pools. It is like stepping into a warm bath.
Visits to archaeological sites can be arranged and may cause you to add a new interest to your winter evening classes. The whole area is populated with Etruscan tombs. Although the walls of our house are 900 years old, it has been lovingly restored to the height of modern standards internally by a specialist in architectural renovations.
A very important aspect of Viterbo is the hospitality and helpfulness of the neighbours. They go out of their way to help visitors. To stay in this house is to experience a genuine taste of life in Italy, not as a tourist, but as part of the truly wonderful community. Actually, some guests have requested that the secret of Viterbo be kept secret, because it is so unique, it should not be changed. We respect and are part of the local community, a privilege for which we are grateful and for which our guests have expressed great praise and enjoyment. But you have to come for yourself to experience it!
Step back in time to experience a haven of peace in this genuine Medieval house in Viterbo. It is an experience you will treasure always.
Year Purchased: 2003
About: I am a retired teacher and mother of four. Recently I fulfilled my life's dream and qualified as an archaeologist, specialising in the funerary architecture of the Etruscans of Etruria, which is the area all around Viterbo. I have written two children's books, 'The Roald Dahl Quiz Books' and sometimes teach English as a second or other language, having students come to my home in a 'full immersion' programme. I have travelled widely and even drove my car from Dublin to an area south of Rome twice with four children. We did of course, use the ferry to France! I enjoy travel, reading, singing and craft work such as sewing, knitting, embroidery and lace-making. Singing with the choir of Trinity College Dublin is my usual activity and recently we performed Mozart's 'Requiem' in the Royal Albert Hall, London, and also 'The Lord of the Rings' conducted by the composer, Howard Shore, in the National Concert Hall of Dublin. !) The highest point of my singing career was to sing (strictly as a chorus girl) with Pavarotti when he performed with the Dublin Grand Opera Society. Ancient history and archaeology are my passion and my favourite activity is visiting ancient archaeological sites. Being a mother of four (my husband sadly died when they were all under seven) kept me very busy for many years but they are all grown now and I am once again free to be an intrepid explorer.
A very good friend lives and works in Viterbo and once she invited me to stay at her house during the Summer as she was going to the mountains for a few weeks.During my many visits to Italy, we always had a house-hunting day, even though financially it was out of the question. But one must have a dream and it is better to be prepared. We stayed in our friend's house in Viterbo and never looked back. Each time we went house-hunting, I was always looking for that 'This is it' feeling, but it never came. I asked my friend to keep an eye out and to ask the neighbours if they knew of a property for sale. As usual in Italy, a friend of a friend had a nephew who knew of someone who was selling a house. I went to look, and the moment even one was over the threshold, I was planning where I would put the sofa. It was mine. It fitted me. I loved it and have loved it every moment since. My children tell me that I always sound extra happy when I am in our house in Viterbo. It is true. The house is quite simple, homely, and peaceful. There is a small balcony where I sit and write or read or sew as I look down on the gardens of the Paradosso with a gentle wind blowing down our street. My neighbours couldn't be nicer, I am part of the community, I really have a sense of belonging. Last month, on a quiet Sunday evening, my neighbours called to say they were going for a short visit to lake Bolsena with their baby and invited me to come. We sat on the grass verge, walked along the waters edge, dipped our toes in the water, went for a gelato and enjoyed a calm, quiet evening in the sunshine. What more could you ask for?
The Unique Benefits at this House:
The town of Viterbo is a walled medieval city and is completely intact so that you feel that you have stepped back in time. The character of the town is still the same although modern life exists side by side outside the city walls. It is possible to literally feel what life was like in the medieval times, but more than that-although the golden age of Viterbo was when the popes lived there during the thirteenth century, the papal palace is built on the site of an Etruscan acropolis. In Viterbo, you can FEEL history all around, from the earlies period of the Etruscans dating back to 900 B.C., to the Medieval times. So, although the walls of our house date back to the 12th century, the interior is comfortable and modern with all the necessities of the modern age, including the internet. The little balcony is one of my favourite places to sit and just be. The gentle breeze that passes from the upstairs bathroom through the kitchen is also something I love, especially as it is unusual to have a view of gardens and greenery in a medieval street. The spaciousness of the downstairs bedroom and the amazing downstairs bathroom are something I appreciate, and the mezzanine bedroom which has retained the original beams and exposed peperino (volcanic rock) walls shows the house to be of the original medieval period. The house itself has a lovely atmosphere, quiet, peaceful and easy. You will feel that you have really had a holiday.
Our House and view of the restaurant gardens of Paradosso.
Spacious bathroom off the main bedroom.
Main bedroom. Bright, comfortable and spacious.
coffee on the balcony
The streets are well lit in the evening with the Medieval lanterns.
Ceramics Workshop, a few steps away from the house. classes available
Terme dei Papi the Spa of the Popes. Enjoy good health & luxury cost- reasonable
Villa d'Este Tivoli with beautiful gardens and fountains. Nearby Hadrian's Villa
Civita di Bagnoreggio- suggested day trip from Vitebo. 28 Kilometers
Flag throwing. local festival in August. Our guest book has a list of festivals.
Cafe Schenardi our local cafe. Fantastic coffee, cakes, lunch and dinners A must
You will love wandering around the markets on Saturday morning A short walk away
Sitting and dining area with door to the first bathroom and laundry room.
spacious downstairs bedroom with bookcase of English language books for guests
Mezzanine. Bedroom. are Peperino walls- a volcanic rock. They date to the 1100s
View from the balcony includes Paradosso gardens of an ancient monastery
Piazza and Via San Pellegrino. Our house is just to the left after the arches.
Etruscan tomb Tarquinia. The whole area is known as Etruria after the Etruscans.
Lake Bolsena, a walled city with castle and a great lake with walks and cafes.
Tivoli gardens at Villa d'Este Rome. Day trip from Viterbo by car, bus or train.
Hadrian's Villa Tivoli Rome for archaeology and history enthuisasts. Day trip.
The countryside of Lazio is similar to it's neighbour Tuscany, a short day trip.
Interested in architecture? You will love wandering and exploring around Viterbo
Wood sculptures of a local artist. His workshop is in the piazza nearest us.
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This listing was first published here in 2003.
Date last modified - Sunday, December 14, 2014
2 Bedroom / 2 Bathroom
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