May 30, 2018
What stands out in a city such as Viterbo is the stern medieval architecture contrasted against the sudden bursts of colourful flowers.
The dour massifs of grey stone that soar above often conceal vast and well-appointed apartments, rich in comforts that would appear improbable from the viewpoint of someone on the street, never mind richly fecund courtyards.
Elegant boutiques and cafes line the main streets of the city. Visible occasionally are the external stone staircases that rise to small terraces on the second level of structures hearkening back almost 1000 years in time.
Squat towers soar impassively above the town, recalling a time when feuding families garrissoned themselves in such fortified structures. These towers are particularly stark, with no openings other than a few seemingly random portholes.
The maned lion and the palm tree occasionally on display recall the coat-of-arms of Viterbo,
Squat arches are reminiscent of the pre-Gothic period.
The lone linear boulevard is unusual in a town characterized by relentlessly weaving and undulating alleys.
Ample evidence is present in the city of its religious history, in particular, papal residence in the Middle Ages.
Sculptures designed according to the precepts of modern art stand in stark contrast to the largely medieval setting.
Much of the original walls of the city are still intact, adding to the dram of the city. Access to the city is provided by means of gates that pass through these walls.
Life in the city focuses on the piazzas that crops up occasionally in the old city, and the establishments that line such squares.
The stark architecture is at times amended by embellishments from the Renaissance, Baroque or other periods. Upon closer inspection, the detailing on the statues, the fountains, the facades of the weathered buildings is absolutely astonishing.
The sombre architectural setting comes to life with the obligatory cafes that appear at the edge of some alley or on a tiny piazza, with a few small tables possibly squeezed along a narrow cobblestone walkway.
You’ll never complain with driving conditions in North America after seeing what Italians contend with.
The old city culminates upon the towering structure of the papal palace and the surrounding structures, including the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, looking out over the valley below, embellished with its own unique and unusual artworks.