June 2, 2018
The day’s journey takes me from Soriano nel Cimino through the small towns in the northeastern corner of the Province of Viterbo towards the city of Orte.
Vignanello is a pretty town with ancient roots in the eastern confines of the province of Viterbo, as is the case of most of the settlements in this region.
In 1531, Pope Clement VII awarded Vignanello as a fief to Beatrice Farnese, and fittingly, the Farnese Pope Paul III confirmed the fief and elevated the her daughter and husband to the first count and countess of Vignanello, a castle thrown in for good measure in the late 16th century. The gardens still stand and are one of the best preserved examples of an Italian Renaissance garden.
En route to Orte, Vasanello, a town with ancient roots, including several churches dating back some 1,000 years as well as a castle that passed through the hands of the leading families of the Renaissance (Orsini, Farnese, Colonna).
The walled hilltown of Orte lies on the fringes of the ancient Tuscia, the ancestral lands occupied by the Etruscan people. Orte is located in the Tiber valley in the province of Viterbo, in the northeastern corner of Latium.
The Etruscans inhabited the area from the 6th century BC and called it Hurta. By the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., Orte had been vanquished by the Romans, and was subsumed into the Roman dominion.
Under the rule of Augustus, Orte received numerous public works. Later, due to its strategic position, Orte was occupied by the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines as well as the Lombards. During the late 9th to early 10th century, it was, along with much of central Italy, a stronghold of, or threatened by the Saracens.
In the Middle Ages the city became a free comune under a podestà (elected magistrature), and later part of the Papal States, for many centuries Orte a Catholic bishophoric.
(Narrative paraphrased from Wikipedia)