Viterbo. Farnese palace

Viterbo. Farnese palace

The medieval palace of the Farnese family dates back to the 13th century and was built by the Tignosi family, Ghibelline nobles from Viterbo. It is located right next to the bridge that connects the village of Viterbo (Piazza della Morte) with the castle (today Palazzo dei Papi) and which was built on Etruscan foundations.

In 1431 Viterbo was threatened by Fortebraccio and Giacomi di Vico and gave the task of defending it to Ranuccio Farnese who was then the treasurer of the Church. Ranuccio had to take the citizenship of Viterbo and buy a house. He chose this house and the story tells that the future Pope Paul III was born here and lived there with his sister Giulia, the favorite of Pope Borgia.

Since the palace is built on a steep terrain, its facades are very different from each other: those facing the valley have three floors and are characterized by regular orders of openings with medieval mullioned windows on the noble floors and rectangular openings in the under-roof.

The façade along the road leading to piazza duomo, on the other hand, has two floors with a loggia on the ground floor and a large balcony with wooden balustrades on the upper floor. The balcony rests on a pillar and does not have the characteristic decorations of the profferli of Viterbo.

During the pontificate of Paul III, the Farnese family moved to Palazzo Sisto for its institutional positions and the Farnese palace began a phase of decline.

In 1561 it was bought by Ludovico Chigi and then became the seat of the hospital administration.


Written by:
Claudia Bettiol

Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in...

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