Municipality in the province of Viterbo, perched on a spur of volcanic tuff rock, Civita Castellana is an important ceramic industry center situated along the Via Flaminia, between the mouths of two tributaries of the river Treja. Capital of ancient pre-Roman population of the Falisci, which according to legend, with the name "Falerii Veteres" was founded by the Greek leader Ales, the son of Agamemnon and the slave Briseis.
Once the Falisci were defeated by the Romans, the city submitted the domain of Rome and followed its historical events. At the fall of the Empire, Civita Castellana suffered the Barbarian invasions and subsequently it went through a period of decay. It was often used as a place of refuge for the Popes during periods of danger. Under the jurisdiction of the Papal States, in 1527, it resisted against a heavy attack by the Lanzichenecchi.
Sites of Interest:
- the remains of temples and shrines of the ancient necropolis of Falerii Veteres, of which several exhibits are now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Falisco, housed in the Forte Sangallo;
- the Archaeological Tour along the Via Amerina, between the remains of temples, tombs, bridges and other buildings belonging to the ancient Falerii built by Falisci fugitives after their defeat by the Roman army;
- Forte Sangallo, an imposing military construction commissioned by Pope Alexander VI in defense of the nearby possessions of the Papal States. Designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, it was on the ruins of an ancient fortification, strengthened further in subsequent years with a moat and an octagonal watch tower. During successive pontificates, the noble apartments were embellished and enriched with style;
- the Cathedral, built from 1185, was completely renovated in the XVIII century and acquired a Baroque style. The building is preceded by a XIII century portico and is flanked by a beautiful Romanesque Bell Tower. Inside are preserved a Roman and a late medieval sarcophagus, frescoes of the XI century, Renaissance style ciboria, several valuable paintings and an organ on which, July 11th 1770, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played;
- Porta Borgiani, made with the marble blocks of the first century A.D., taken from the funerary monument of the Roman tribune Gliz L. Gallo;
- the Fountain of the Dragons, commissioned at the times of Pope Gregory XIII;
- the Museum of Ceramics.