Viterbo, a charming and tranquil town about an hour north of Rome, has one of the best preserved medieval historic centers in central Italy. Its focus is the impressive, crenelated Papal Palace dating from the mid-13th century when the Papal Curia was removed to Viterbo due to constant urban violence in Rome. Situated alongside the cathedral of San Lorenzo, the palace is approached by a wide, high staircase and is ornamented with a seven-bay loggia of graceful Gothic arches that is raised above the street. In 1268 the longest papal conclave in history took place inside the palace. The cardinals spent two years and eight months trying to elect a new Pope (the citizens of Viterbo finally locked them in so they would make up their minds!).
Wandering through the city streets with your guide will work up an appetite for a delicious lunch at Osteria L'Altro Gusto whose menu features, among other things, tempting pasta dishes and excellent grilled meat. After lunch, you will visit either Villa Lante or the Bomarzo Park, or both depending on how much time you have before heading back to Rome.
Villa Lante is a wonderfully symmetrical Renaissance park built on gently sloping hills. It boasts lovely fountains, perfectly tended gardens, and casini (little villas) filled with frescoes and painted vaults. This jewel of Mannerist art and architecture will delight you with its serenity and impress you with its feats of engineering.
A very different kind of park is the Bosco Sacro ("Sacred Grove") in Bomarzo, also known as the Parco dei Mostri ("Park of the Monsters"). Here, giant sculptures depicting monsters, gods, nymphs, animals, and imaginary objects are scattered over acres of woods beneath the Orsini castle. Bomarzo was intended to astonish, not to please: It is a place where young and old will stand in awe of these arcane symbols that seem to invite you to step outside your comfort zone and accept the irrational.
At the end of your adventure in northern Latium, your driver will take you back to your hotel or apartment in Rome so you can think about all the marvelous sights you have seen that day.
|# of People||Price|
|2 people||$539.00 per person|
|3 people||$376.00 per person|
|4 people||$296.00 per person|
|5 people||$248.00 per person|
|6 people||$216.00 per person|
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