Town in the province of Viterbo, located about 10km north of Lake Bolsena, near the river Paglia, Acquapendente owes the origins of its name to the presence of numerous streams and waterfalls that flow into the river Paglia. Even though its origins are uncertain, historians attest the presence of an Etruscan settlement, that fell under the Roman domain and, later after the fall of the Empire, became a Lombard possession. The village is recorded around the IX century, when some documents report of a "vicus", named Arisa or Farisa, located along the Via Francigena. In 964 Emperor Otto I sheltered here, while later Matilda of Canossa donated the town to the Papal States. Pope Innocenzo X ordered the destruction of the Duchy of Castro, in order to reduce the importance of the Farnese family in northern Lazio and so the Bishop of Castro, built his residence here.
Sites of Interest:
- the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, founded, according to tradition, by Matilda of Westphalia, the mother of Otto the Great. The original Romanesque style have submitted several changes over the ages, until the XVIII century, when it finally was finalized with its present Baroque forms. The building spreads over three levels, the higher (the transept), the middle (the aisles) and the lower (with a splendid crypt of the XI century). Of particular value are the two bas-reliefs attributed to Agostino di Duccio, a glazed terracotta altarpiece by Jacopo Benevento, the finely decorated wooden stalls of the choir and the baptismal font of the XIV century;
- the Church of St. John, consecrated in 1149 and profoundly altered in later centuries, especially in the XIX century. Today it belongs to the municipality;
- the Church of San Francesco, consecrated in 1149, was remodeled in the XVIII and the original Gothic style was replaced with the current Baroque one. Flanked by a XVI century Bell Tower, it preserves within a wooden crucifix of the XIII century, attributed to Lorenzo Maitani, a statue of the Assumption of the Flemish artist Carlos Duames, the remarkable cycle of frescoes of the choir and the wooden statues of the 12 apostles;
- the Cloister of the Monastery of Santa Chiara, of XIV century origins;
- the Church of Santa Vittoria, around which developed the first settlement of Acquapendente;
- the Church of St. Augustine, with the adjacent convent, dating back to 1290 and remodeled in Baroque style in the XVIII century, after being devastated by a fire;
- the Church of San Lorenzo, preceded by two large side staircases;
- the Church of St. Catherine, whose facade is an artwork of the architect Meluzzi;
- several splendid noble residences and palaces;
- the Tower of Barbarossa;
- the Tower entitled to Julia de' Jacopo, named after the young girl of Acquapendente, that advised the inhabitants and prevented the entry of the enemies in town;
- Nature Reserve of Mount Rufeno.