Viterbo, a central Italian city and capital of a province of the same name, is often underappreciated by international tourists. Despite being just over an hour north of Rome, the city does not sit on a major high speed train tracks and is not especially close to any important autostrada routes. While the territory surrounding Viterbo , Tuscia has gained in popularity in recent years, the city itself is sometimes unfairly depicted as too “dark”. This unfair characterization is due in large part to the grey stone buildings of its historic city center, one of the largest and best-preserved medieval towns in Italy.
The medieval quarter of San Pellegrino, which is on the famous pilgrimage route Via Francigena, is the real jewel of the city. The area boasts several beautiful buildings, piazze, and monuments significant to Italy’s religious patrimony, including the 13th-century Palazzo Papale (famous for hosting the longest Papal conclave in history- 1006 days!).
After the gloom of winter fades and the weather starts to warm, locals discovered a way to make the city bright: San Pellegrino in Fiore, a festival honoring the medieval center with thousands of brightly colored blooms and arrangements, which enhance the quarter’s existing architecture by contrasting their grey facades.
The beautiful, bright arrangements are the perfect backdrop for several events taking place throughout the festival. Exhibits, demonstrations, concerts/ performances, and guided excursions throughout the city are just a few of the ways to get involved. The diverse program is full of options for visitors of all ages, with a wide range of interests. The artisan and typical food market located at Piazza del Plebiscito, located near to Viterbo’s ancient cathedral, is particularly worth visiting. Various bars, restaurants, and accommodations in the city are also offering deals during the festival, so be sure to do your research and book soon! A full schedule of events is available here.
If you’re unable to attend this year, follow San Pellegrino in Fiore either on Facebook or check out their official website. If you can’t make it in spring, Viterbo and the rest of Tuscia are worthy of a visit at any time of year!
On your next trip to Viterbo, be sure to check out some of our EcoTourist Partners:
Mastro Cencio (Artisanal Products) 23.5 miles
Dal Contadino (Food & Drinks, Reseller) 18 miles
Poggio di Montedoro (Agriturismo) 10.2 miles