Acquapendente borders with Tuscany and its name derives from the numerous small waterfalls that flow into the river Paglia.
The territory was crossed by an important communication road that became the Via Francigena. First there was an Etruscan settlement and then it was conquered by the Romans and finally destroyed by the Lombards.
Thanks to the road network, the medieval village developed quickly, and in 964 it was home to the Emperor Otto I, who resided in Acquapendente for a short period.
When Matilde di Canossa gave her belongings to the church, Acquapendente was placed in the diocese of Orvieto and so began the battles for independence from Orvieto.
Around the twelfth century Acquapendente was located on two hills: a village around the Abbey of the Holy Sepulchre, later to become the castle, and one around the church of Santa Maria.
In 1166 came the “Miracle of the Madonna del Fiore” after which the inhabitants rebelled against the imperial domination of Barbarossa, destroyed the castle and moved downstream to the advantages of proximity to the creek and the land to plow.
The thirteenth century was a succession of wars with Orvieto and between the Empire and the Papacy. The fourteenth century was characterized by exile of the popes in Avignon, which would have caused confusion in the territories of the Holy See.
In 1550, with the popes having returned to their office there was a strengthening of the central government and a loss of autonomy. But this is also the period of greatest splendour with the construction of churches and palaces.
Acquapendente was affected by the Duchy of Castro when it was sacked by troops of Odoardo Farnese rather than those of the army of the Pope, in conflict with each other.
With the destruction of the city of Castro, Pope Innocent X transferred the bishopric to Acquapendente and the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre became a Cathedral