Viterbo. Gatti palace

Viterbo. Gatti palace

In the heart of the medieval historic center of Viterbo, Gatti palace takes its name from the family of the Captain of the People Raniero Gatti who had promoted the construction of the Palazzo dei Papi. A historic Guelph family (with only two examples of Ghibelline exponents) that had always supported the supremacy of the papacy.

It was Raniero Gatti who was the protagonist of one of the most important episodes in the history of Viterbo. In 1270 he locked the cardinals in the palace after they had failed to elect a pope for two years. In practice, he began the first true 'conclave' (from the Latin word 'key') in the history of the church.

Originally the palace was a wing of a much larger palace with six towers that occupied an entire block, a real castle. A true center of power that hosted Emperor Ludwig II of Bavaro in 1328 and Frederick III in 1451.

The family became one of the first banks in Viterbo and this provoked the wrath of Pope Alexander VI Borgia who ordered the palace to be destroyed.

Today the building appears all in peperino with elegant mullioned windows framed by sculpted friezes of particular beauty that recall those of the famous Palazzo dei Papi. The building ends with a terrace which, however, has been built in recent restorations. On the facade you can distinguish the coats of arms of the Gatti family.

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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