Civita Castellana

Coordinates: 42°17′N 12°24′E / 42.283°N 12.400°E / 42.283; 12.400
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Civita Castellana
Comune di Civita Castellana
Piazza Matteotti in Civita Castellana by night.
Piazza Matteotti in Civita Castellana by night.
Location of Civita Castellana
Civita Castellana is located in Italy
Civita Castellana
Civita Castellana
Location of Civita Castellana in Italy
Civita Castellana is located in Lazio
Civita Castellana
Civita Castellana
Civita Castellana (Lazio)
Coordinates: 42°17′N 12°24′E / 42.283°N 12.400°E / 42.283; 12.400
ProvinceViterbo (VT)
FrazioniBorghetto, Pian Paradiso, Sassacci
 • MayorFranco Caprioli
 • Total83.28 km2 (32.15 sq mi)
145 m (476 ft)
 (31 December 2017)[2]
 • Total16,262
 • Density200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0761
Patron saintSts. John and Marcianus
Saint daySeptember 16
WebsiteOfficial website
The façade of the Cathedral of Civita Castellana.

Civita Castellana is a town and comune in the province of Viterbo, 65 kilometres (40 mi) north of Rome.

Mount Soracte lies about 10 kilometres (6 mi) to the south-east.


Civita Castellana was settled during the Iron Age by the Italic people of the Falisci, who called it "Falerii." After the Faliscan defeat against the Romans, a new city was built by the latter, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) away, and called "Falerii Novi."

The abandoned city was repopulated beginning in the early Middle Ages, with the new name of Civita Castellana (roughly translated as "City of the Castle") mentioned first in 994. In the following centuries the city was a flourishing independent commune, often contended by the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire. Captured by Pope Paschal II at the beginning of the 12th century, the city was given as fief to the Savelli by Gregory XIV.

Sixtus IV assigned the city to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, the future Pope Alexander VI, who started the construction of the Rocca ("Castle"), which was completed under Julius II.

Civita Castellana became an important road hub with the connection to the Via Flaminia (1606) and the construction of Ponte Clementino sometime after the Battle of Civita Castellana, a French Army victory against a Neapolitan Army here on December 5, 1798 while this community was still part of the 1798-1799 Roman Republic after the fall of the 754-1798 Papal States but before the return of the 1799-1809 Papal States.

Main sights[edit]

  • Santa Maria di Pozzano (Santa Maria Maggiore): the cathedral of the town, it possesses a fine portico, erected in 1210 by Laurentius Romanus, his son Jacobus and his grandson Cosmas, in the Cosmatesque style, with ancient columns and mosaic decorations. The interior was modernized in the 18th century, but has some fragments of Cosmatesque ornamentation.[3] The high altar is made out of a Paleo-Christian sarcophagus of the 3rd or 4th century. The ancient crypt and the old sacristy are also home to examples of central Italian medieval art.
  • Santa Chiara: church with Renaissance portal from 1529
  • Santa Maria del Carmine: church with small belltower from the 12th century, including ancient Roman spolia.
  • San Francesco - Church rebuilt in 18th century
  • Rocca (citadel) was erected by Pope Alexander VI from the designs of Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, over pre-existing fortifications, and enlarged by Julius II and Leo X.[3]
  • Ponte Clementino, the bridge by which the town is approached, dates to the 18th century.[3]

The town also contains the ruins of the Castle of Paterno, where, on 23 January 1002, Emperor Otto III died at the age of 22.

The National Museum of the Faliscan Countryside contains findings from the ancient Falerii and the surrounding areas.



  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911.


  • Boscolo, Silvia, Luca Creti, Consuelo Mastelloni (1993) Il pavimento cosmatesco della Cattedrale di Civita Castellana. Biblioteca e società 23(1-2).[1]
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Civita Castellana". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 416.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Diocese of Cività Castellana, Orte, and Gallese". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • De Lucia Brolli, Maria Anna, and Jacopo Tabolli. 2013. "The Faliscans and the Etruscans." In The Etruscan World, edited by Jean MacIntosh Turfa, 259–80. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Tabolli, Jacopo, and Jean MacIntosh Turfa. 2014. "Discovered Anew: A Faliscan Tomb-Group from Falerii-Celle in Philadelphia." Etruscan Studies 17(1): 28–62.

External links[edit]