21 Best Things to Do in Viterbo, Italy (From a Local)

This post discusses the best things to do in Viterbo, Italy, a place I have visited several times as it is located in the region where I live. 

The surroundings of the city are rich in natural thermal springs, which I am very passionate about. It is precisely this characteristic that has made this small city north of Rome (about 80 km away) a destination for local tourism. Viterbo, in addition to having the best hot springs in Lazio, also has many other qualities that I will share with you in this article. 

For example, in the historic center of the city, you can find restaurants that serve authentic and delicious local food at great prices. 

The San Pellegrino neighborhood, with its ancient houses, the Palazzo dei Papi, and the well-preserved walls of Viterbo, make it one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Italy. 

Another important feature of Viterbo is that the city is rich in ancient buildings, such as noble palaces and churches, reflecting its long history. 

Trenitalia trains will take you close to the historic center with a journey of about 2 hours from Rome. Viterbo is perfect for a two-day trip from Rome.

21 Best things to do in Viterbo Italy

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1. Piazza San Lorenzo

The heart of Viterbo’s historic center immediately catches the eye, with the cathedral and the Gothic profile of the Palazzo dei Papi occupying the two main sides of the square.

This square is located on the San Lorenzo hill, where archaeologists have found traces of an Etruscan settlement (10th-3rd century BCE). It is here that the first inhabited center of Viterbo was formed.

The square overlooks the “Faul Valley,” where there is now a free parking area and the weekly market takes place. It is a hill from which you can overlook the surrounding territory.

2. San Lorenzo Cathedral – Free admission

The “Duomo of Viterbo” is the historical landmark of Viterbo that I am most fond of. Despite undergoing several restorations, it still retains all those ancient elements that distinguish it from many basilicas in central Italy, whose interiors appear “too new” instead.

There was already a sacred place dedicated to the saint here in the 8th century CE. The cathedral was built between the 12th and 13th centuries in a Romanesque style (the Renaissance façade is the result of a 14th-century restoration). 

The upper part of the bell tower has also undergone maintenance work, so today we see it in a Gothic style and decorated in black and white.

The interior is absolutely impressive, with its three soaring aisles and light entering only through the windows of the second order. The stone used is the typical local stone, peperino, which is quite dark and gives the structure a stern and solemn appearance.

The cathedral is beautiful, with an austere and solemn interior; some of the columns supporting the nave have interesting bas-reliefs in the early Christian style.

On the right and left aisles, there are several chapels to admire, along with 17th-18th-century frescoes and a Renaissance marble baptismal font.

In the left aisle, you will find the tomb of Pope John 21st, who was of Portuguese origin.

If you are passionate about history, I recommend purchasing the ticket that includes an audio guide to discover the history of the monuments overlooking the square and the artistic and archaeological treasures of the Colle del Duomo Museum.

The ticket can be purchased at the entrance of the Palazzo dei Papi and costs €10.

3. Colle del Duomo Museum

Between the cathedral and the bell tower, you will find the entrance to the Colle del Duomo Museums. With the audio guide, you can retrace the history of Piazza San Lorenzo. 

There are artifacts dating back to prehistory as well as ancient and contemporary works of art. Near the entrance of the museum, there is also a small bookstore where you can find historical and artistic books about Viterbo and some souvenirs.

Palazzo dei Papi – Palace of the Popes

One of the most interesting parts of Viterbo’s history is the 24 years, from 1257 to 1281, when the city was the main seat of the papacy. 

Pope Alexander 4th transferred the seat here from Rome because the Eternal City was plagued by unrest. 

At that time, the Palazzo dei Papi served as a sort of Vatican. Nine popes resided at the Palazzo dei Papi, and even after the seat was transferred back to Rome, the popes continued to visit Viterbo. Perhaps seeking the well-being offered by the city’s hot thermal waters?…

An episode known by all Viterbo citizens is the origin of the word “conclave,” which in Italian refers to the meeting of cardinals for the election of a new pope.

After the death of Clement 4th in 1268, it took more than 1000 days to elect his successor! The people of Viterbo, exasperated by the taxes aimed at maintaining the luxurious lifestyle of the many present cardinals and their entourages, besieged the palace. 

In the end, the people removed the roof of the main hall, cut off supplies, and locked (clave in Latin) the structure, urging the cardinals to make a decision as quickly as possible.

The most beautiful part of the Palazzo dei Papi is the Loggia, with its Gothic arches, carved lion bas-reliefs, and fountain. Palazzo dei Papi is one of the most important historical landmarks in Italy from the Middle Ages.

The interiors of the palace have been renovated. By purchasing the entrance ticket with the audio guide (€10), you can learn about the history of the palace and the objects in its rooms. The ticket also grants access to the Colle del Duomo Museum (with an audio guide) and provides an audio guide for the cathedral.

4. San Pellegrino Neighborhood

From Piazza San Lorenzo, start your walk to discover the San Pellegrino neighborhood, the medieval quarter and the most fascinating part of Viterbo’s historic center.

Walk promptly to Piazza della Morte and to San Pellegrino Street to discover medieval Viterbo, with the barrel vaults connecting buildings to each other. All the houses facing this street are erected directly on the underlying tufa stone, without foundations. 

The ground floor formerly housed workshops, while the upper floor housed dwellings, with the floors connected by an external staircase.

The medieval quarter was built with typical dark “pepper” stone. Don’t miss the small square with the Palazzo degli Alessandri, absolutely postcard-worthy, and the Church of San Pellegrino.

Explore the alleys with attentive eyes to catch all the details of this architecture. The San Pellegrino neighborhood is one of the best places to visit in Viterbo.

5. Viterbo Underground – Maybe Not the Best Idea

As you walk from Piazza San Lorenzo towards Piazza del Gesù, you will be drawn to a shop with the sign “Viterbo Underground.” Usually, someone is at the door inviting you to enter and visit the underground areas of Viterbo.

It consists of 4 rooms that you can visit in a few minutes with an audio guide. Most travelers who enter (and pay the €4 ticket) are disappointed. In my opinion, this isn’t one of the best things to do in Viterbo.

Some people enjoy the guided tour, but it is not available in English for groups smaller than 20 people.

Therefore, it is best to move on immediately and dedicate time to more satisfying things to do in Viterbo.

6. Piazza del Gesù

Not far from Piazza San Lorenzo, you will find another charming square, the small (but rich in history) Piazza del Gesù, also known as Piazza San Silvestro.

Your eyes will admire the central fountain made of carved stone, the Romanesque-style church, and the ancient buildings surrounding the square. 

There is a six-story 14th-century tower that held defensive importance during the Middle Ages, the Tower of Borgognone (unfortunately, it is not accessible).

If you pass through this little piazza in the evening, you will also find outdoor tables of the restaurant-pizzeria Il Labirinto, which makes excellent pizza. Sit here if you don’t know what to do in Viterbo Italy at night and you won’t be disappointed.

The square played a fundamental role for the city from the 11th century to the late 13th century. In the 11th century, Viterbo became a free municipality, and in this square, there was the seat of the podestà, who administered justice. The city’s market was also held here during those centuries.

Enter the Church of Gesù. Although the interiors are rather simple, the building was the stage for a historical event also mentioned in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, one of Italy’s greatest poets.

In 1271, the longest conclave in history was taking place at the Palazzo dei Papi, lasting over 3 years. Several important figures traveled to Viterbo to speak with the cardinals and resolve the situation. For example, King Philip III of France and King Charles I of Sicily.

Guido di Monfort also arrived in Viterbo as the representative of Charles I for Tuscany, to pay homage to the king, accompanied by his brother Simone di Monfort.

The two brothers, upon arriving in Viterbo, learned of the presence of King Edward I of England in the city.

Years earlier, the Monfort brothers’ father had been killed by order of the English royal family, even though he had surrendered as a prisoner after leading a revolt.

The Monfort brothers wanted to avenge their father and stormed into the Church of Gesù while Edward I was attending mass. They murdered the king at the altar and then dragged his dying body out onto the square to display it.

The episode caused a sensation in Europe. Plaques on the exterior and interior of the church commemorate this event.

At that time, the church was still named the Church of San Silvestro. Over the following centuries, the church came under the management of the Art of the Gardeners and the Brotherhood of Jesus.

7. Admire Viterbo’s Fountains

From medieval and Renaissance times, Viterbo is adorned with many elegant dark stone fountains. Viterbo was known as “the city of 100 towers and 100 fountains.” 

Here are some of the most beautiful ones that you will naturally encounter as you walk around the city:

  • Fountain of Piazza della Morte
  • Fountain in Dante Alighieri Square
  • Fountain of San Faustino Square
  • Fountain of Crocetta Square
  • Fountain of Piazza del Gesù
  • Fountain of Piazza delle Erbe
  • Fountain of the Palazzo dei Priori
  • Fountain of San Pietro alla Rocca

8. Shop in Via Roma

From Piazza del Plebiscito, the city’s main square with the town hall runs Via Roma, which then becomes Corso Italia. This is the main shopping street in Viterbo, with clothing stores, boutiques, and street food shops.

9. Explore Plebiscito Square

After Piazza San Lorenzo, for history enthusiasts, a thorough visit to Piazza del Plebiscito is a must.

This rectangular square has housed the seat of power in Viterbo since the second half of the 13th century when the Popes moved from Rome to Viterbo.

This was the seat of the temporal power in Viterbo (which was previously in Piazza del Gesù), while the seat of the religious power located in Piazza San Lorenzo.

As you walk around the square, you will see the Palazzo del Podestà, the Palazzo Apostolico, the Church of St. Angelo in Spatha, and the Palazzo dei Priori

The walls of the palaces display the ancient coats of arms of those who ruled the city. The symbol of Viterbo is the lion.

You can enter the Church of Sant’Angelo in Spatha, although it is not one of my favorites because the interior has been completely renovated.

However, it is interesting to head towards the Palazzo dei Priori, which covers the entire long side of the square.

Passing under the arched doorway of the Palazzo dei Priori, you enter a terraced courtyard that offers a postcard-perfect view, especially at sunset. The terrace overlooks Valle Faul and provides a view of the Church of Santissima Trinità.

The courtyard is adorned with a 17th-century fountain and several Etruscan sarcophagi. Access to this panoramic courtyard is free.

On the other hand, entrance to the Palazzo dei Priori is subject to a fee and is definitely worth a visit, in my opinion even more so than the Palazzo dei Papi.

TIP: By the way, if you purchase the "Viterbo Pass" ticket, you can visit the city's main museums, 

including the Palazzo dei Priori and the Palazzo dei Papi, for a cost of €18, with an audio guide available 

in English.

10. Palazzo dei Priori

The palace is now the seat of the Viterbo municipality and historically represented the seat of civic power, which was previously in Piazza del Gesù.

The exact start date of the palace’s construction is not known. Pope Pius II certainly played a fundamental role as he renovated the entire square in the 15th century. The arcade that you see on the lower level facing Piazza del Plebiscito is his work.

From the 16th century, the priori (city magistrates) moved their seat to the palace. They administered justice on the lower floor, seated on large marble benches.

Visiting the palace, you can admire the frescoed halls and the Museum of Porticos, which houses important 16th-century paintings.

The Mother Hall illustrates the birth and history of the city’s devotion to Mother of the Oak. According to tradition, this lady saved Viterbo from a locust invasion in 1581. A large fresco depicts the procession with city authorities, clergy, and all the citizens, expressing their gratitude for the miracle.

In the main hall or Royal Hall, six large paintings depict the history and legends surrounding the birth of Viterbo. One painting depicts Noah repopulating the earth after the flood by settling in the region where Viterbo now stands.

The Council Hall hosts meetings of the city council since the 16th century.

In the Landscape Hall, there is the so-called “Window of the Pope.” From here, the pope or important figures can observe the passage of the statue of Saint Rosa during the procession on the evening of September 3rd. Saint Rosa is the patron saint of Viterbo, and the festival dedicated to her takes place every year on September 3rd.

11. Discover the National Etruscan Museum

Viterbo’s National Etruscan Museum is located within the 15th-century Rocca Albornoz fortress. 

The exhibition rooms span three floors and house artifacts from the archaeological sites surrounding Viterbo, dating back to both Etruscan and Roman times. 

Visiting this museum, along with several other Etruscan museums of Lazio, is essential to gain a deeper understanding of the Etruscan civilization. 

On the ground floor, the courtyard showcases numerous intricately carved sarcophagi adorned with bas-reliefs depicting marine themes. 

Additionally, a reconstruction of the Acquarossa settlement, situated a few kilometers north of Viterbo, can be found on this floor. 

Noteworthy are the remains of the temple roof, embellished with exquisite bas-reliefs illustrating scenes from the Etruscan community’s life and rituals. 

The second floor features artifacts discovered near the Roman amphitheater of Ferento, including a mosaic with inscriptions in the Etruscan language. 

The museum’s most striking room hosts a replica of a cave dedicated to the cult of Goddess Demeter, displaying original sculptures of the goddess and the head of her daughter Proserpina.

Visiting the Etruscan museum is among my top three best things to do in Viterbo!

12. Have a Drink at Bistro del Teatro

Take a break from exploring Viterbo’s historic center and enjoy a coffee at Bistro del Teatro

This charming café, located near a theater that can accommodate up to 350 people, offers a cozy atmosphere to relax and savor a beverage or a quick meal. 

The establishment features several rooms with tables, comfortable sofas, bookshelves filled with books, and vintage décor. It is a popular spot for students from the University of Viterbo seeking a quiet place to study.

If you’re wondering what to do in Viterbo on a lazy afternoon, I suggest you pay a visit to this bistro.

13. Indulge in Perfect Pizza

After a day of enjoying the Viterbo thermal baths, treat yourself to a satisfying dinner in the elegant historic center. 

For pizza lovers, Restaurant Pizzeria Il Labirinto serves the best pizza in town

On pleasant days, you can dine al fresco at outdoor tables in the picturesque Piazza del Gesù, savoring a delicious pizza in one of the city’s most charming squares.

Enjoy Viterbo’s Thermal Baths

One of the main attractions of northern Lazio is Viterbo’s hot springs, which supply private and public thermal baths catering to various tastes and budgets.

14. Terme dei Papi – Thermal Baths of the Popes

The Terme dei Papi is Viterbo’s most renowned thermal resort, featuring a 2,000-square-meter swimming pool with water depths ranging from 20 cm to 2 m. 

The pool is open every day except Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (extended to 8 p.m. during summer and until 1 a.m. on Saturday nights). 

Terme dei Papi Spa offers mud baths, inhalations, a hot/cold path to promote circulation, and a hot-humid cave. 

Many treatments are covered by the national health system, making it a valuable resource for residents. 

The complex also includes a café, a restaurant, and a 4-star hotel. Daily admission tickets cost €18, or €25 on holidays and pre-holidays. There is also a 3-hour ticket available for €10.

Getting to Terme dei Papi from Rome

On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, a shuttle bus departs from Rome Viale George Washington (near Flaminio-Piazza del Popolo metro station) at 9:30 a.m. and returns from Viterbo at 5 p.m. The round-trip ticket costs €12.

15. Bullicame Hot Spring and Pools

The thermal spring supplying the Terme dei Papi Spa is located approximately 2.5 km from the city center. 

Sulfur water gushes out at 58°C from a natural crater protected by a transparent fence. Engraved verses from the Divine Comedy, specifically from the Canticle of Hell mentioning the Bullicame hot spring, can be found on a stone slab nearby. 

There are also two bathing pools available for public use, although there are no on-site services.

The site offers a captivating ambiance, and I recommend visiting and bathing here unless you have very refined tastes. Note that the pool may be crowded during evenings and weekends.

This is one of the best natural places to visit in Viterbo.

16. Terme Salus

This upscale spa, located within the Hotel Terme Salus, is the epitome of refinement in Viterbo. 

It boasts indoor and outdoor spaces set amidst a meticulously manicured park with multiple pools. 

The daily entrance fee for the spa (adults only) is €65. The thermal pool features both indoor and outdoor areas. 

In the park, you’ll find additional pools with seawater and water jets. There is also a hammam and a counter-current path to stimulate leg circulation. Terme Salus offers various attractive wellness packages, including pool access with lunch or pool access with a massage. 

Reservation is required.

17. Therma Oasis

Located on the outskirts of Viterbo, Therma Oasis strikes a balance between a luxurious wellness center and a more affordable option. 

The spacious pool is adorned with rocks and waterfalls. The café and changing rooms are new and designed with more appeal than those at the Terme dei Papi. 

Terme Oasis tends to be less crowded compared to other thermal pools in Viterbo. 

The weekday daily entrance fee is €25, while on holidays it is €30. On Saturday evenings, you can access the pool from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. for €20, or €45 including dinner.

18. Basilica of San Francesco alla Rocca

Are you an art-lover wondering what to see in Viterbo beside the San Pellegrino neighborhood?

The Basilica of San Francesco alla Rocca, along with its convent, is located in Piazza San Francesco. 

The basilica was built in the first half of the 13th century and was managed by the Franciscan order. Today, the convent houses the army aviation command.

The Romanesque-style basilica, on the other hand, is open to visitors. In fact, you should definitely see it because it is rich in artistic treasures, including sculptures and paintings.

Notable features include the mausoleums of Popes Clement 4th and Adrian 5th. 

The mausoleum of Adrian 5th, created in the late 13th century by Arnolfo di Cambio, is finely carved from white marble and adorned with spiral columns, mosaics, and polychrome marbles. Arnolfo di Cambio is a Tuscan sculpture that also created some beautiful sculptures in Rome.

19. Ceramics Museum of Tuscia

If you’re looking for interesting and free things to do in Viterbo, here’s one: visit the Ceramics Museum.

The museum is housed on the ground floor of Palazzo Brugiotti, which also features a garden.

The collections are displayed in five rooms and date back to the 12th to 17th centuries. 

The museum traces the history of ceramic craftsmanship in northern Lazio. Highlights include the medieval collection and the 16th-17th-century collection, which feature decorations depicting sacred and profane love themes.

20. University of Viterbo

The University of Viterbo is located near Porta Romana, an ancient gateway through the imposing city defensive walls. 

It is better known as the University of Tuscia because it represents the major academic center in the northern part of Lazio.

The university is highly regarded by its students for its tranquil and well-maintained environment. 

The faculties are housed in the former convent of Santa Maria in Gradi, which also includes a charming 13th-century church with a delightful cloister. 

The church has undergone several restorations, including one in the 18th century by Nicola Salvi, one of the architects who also worked on the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

It is worth visiting the university premises to admire its architecture.

21. Eat at the Best Restaurants in Viterbo, Italy

One of the main reasons I visit this city so often is that Viterbo has excellent restaurants with very affordable prices.

Among my favorites are:

Il Labirinto

The best pizza in Viterbo. You will also find other dishes besides pizza, all excellent.

Il Giardino del Papero

Housed inside Palazzo Lunense, an ancient palace owned by the Pope, it is called “The Duck’s Garden” because it hides a romantic garden.

Go here for dinner if you want to dine in the garden. The dining room used for lunch is also elegant. The dishes are refined with sophisticated combinations. You can enjoy pasta, meat, fish, or pizza here. The desserts are sensational.

Ristorante Tre Re

Here you will find, in a cozy tavern-like atmosphere, the genuine dishes of the Viterbo tradition, such as pasta lombrichelli alla viterbese and chicken viterbese.

Il Gargolo

In the charming setting of Piazza della Morte, with outdoor tables right around the stone fountain.

Where to stay in Viterbo

To soak up the atmosphere of this ancient city, stay in a b&b housed in a medieval palace in the historic 

center, such as the B&B Medieval House.

Check its availability here.
If you want to go all-in on wellness and spa treatments, stay at the Terme Salus Spa Hotel, which 

features indoor and outdoor thermal pools.

Check prices here.

Things to do around Viterbo

In case you’ve checked all the best things to do in Viterbo, Italy, I’ve recommended in this post, here are some half-day trips or day trips from Viterbo that I loved and you will love too.

See Vitorchiano

If you are traveling the region by private car, plan to see some of the picturesque villages of northern Lazio, such as Vitorchiano

The outline of the village, which stands on a bank of pepper stone boulders will remain etched in your memory. The large square boulders serve as foundations for the houses. The rocky outcrop on which the village stands is surrounded by dense forests where you can take walks to discover the caves and rock tombs of the ancient locals, charmingly hidden by the vegetation.

Relax at the Cimina beech forest

About 5 km from the historic center of Soriano nel Cimino, a town with a Renaissance-era castle, there’s is an extraordinary beech forest. 

The natural site has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a “very ancient beech forest of Europe.” The forest covers the top of Mount Cimino. Some of the trees are centuries old. 

In the heart of the forest, the remains of a Paleolithic village have been discovered. The visit is especially pleasant in the warmer months, when, entering the forest, one feels an immediate sense of relief and well-being.

Palazzo Farnese 

The Bomarzo Gardens, located 20 km east of Viterbo, is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and surreal experience. 

Also known as the Park of Monsters or Sacred Wood, the gardens are filled with larger-than-life sculptures and bizarre buildings, like a leaning house. 

The sculptures depict mythical creatures and fantastical figures. The gardens offer an enchanting and otherworldly atmosphere, allowing you to wander through a whimsical landscape that sparks the imagination and transports them to a realm of imagination and wonder.

The Sacred Wood has an intriguing history. It was commissioned by Pier Francesco Orsini, a nobleman also known as Vicino Orsini, during the 16th century. 

The park was created as a reflection of Orsini’s grief and personal struggles following the death of his beloved wife, Giulia Farnese.

The sculptures and structures within the park were designed by renowned architect and sculptor Pirro Ligorio. The park’s unconventional and fantastical theme deviated from the typical formal gardens of the time and instead embraced a more whimsical and mysterious style.

This is one of the most famous gardens near Rome and one of the best day trips from Rome with kids.

Tarquinia Beach

If you visit Viterbo during warm weather, consider taking a day trip to Tarquinia, the coastal town located 44 km west of Viterbo.

The town is divided into 2 parts. One of the parts stretches over a hill with splendid views of the coast and countryside. This is the part that encloses the historic center, famous for its medieval architecture with towers and defensive walls and a very large Archaeological Museum.

One of the best places to see in Tarquinia is definitely Marina di Tarquinia. This stretches along the coast and features a waterfront promenade dotted with beach clubs, cafes and restaurants.

Terme di Orte

Thermal bath enthusiasts visiting Viterbo in the summer may be disappointed because they can’t immerse themselves in the city’s thermal baths—the water is too hot!

But there is a solution… Get your car and head about 25 km east of Viterbo. Here you will find the Terme di Orte, a complex of thermal pools surrounded by a large park and open from May to September.

The thermal water that gushes from the springs near the municipality of Orte is refreshing and enjoyable in the summer. 

The monumental pool is beautiful, with many water jets for neck massages. This thermal Spa is one of my favorite places to visit in Italy during the summer.

There is also a pool for kids.

The daily entrance fee is €12, €10 for the afternoon only. 

The price is great, so don’t miss a visit to this thermal center to be enjoyed even in the height of summer.

FAQs Viterbo Italy

How do you get from Rome to Viterbo and from Viterbo to Rome?

Viterbo is well connected to Rome’s historic center. There are 2 routes that link from Rome to Viterbo and reverse. 

I recommend you take a train to Viterbo Porta Romana or Viterbo Porta Fiorentina from these stations in Rome:

  • Valle Aurelia  
  • Roma Ostiense
  • Roma Trastevere
  • Roma Tiburtina 

What’s the best time to visit Viterbo?

Since the water from the hot springs gushes out very hot, the best times to travel to Viterbo are Spring, Winter, and Fall if you want to enjoy the thermal water. 

Another good time to visit Viterbo is September (on September 3rd, there’s a festival with a picturesque procession dedicated to St. Rosa.)

Autumn is a perfect time to hike in the forests surrounding the city, rich in archeological sites of Etruscan times free to visit.

What’s the best way to get around Viterbo?

If you are fit enough, you will be able to visit the entire historic center of Viterbo on foot with its churches, squares, elegant fountains, and museums. 

If you come to Viterbo by car, which is the best option if you also want to enjoy the thermal baths and explore the region a bit, leave it at the free parking lot in Piazza Faul.

From there, take the elevator to Piazza San Lorenzo, the heart of the historic center.

Is it worth visiting Viterbo?

It is worth visiting Viterbo both as a day trip from Rome and as an independent destination to spend a few days.

Visit Viterbo, especially if you love to discover small, off-the-beaten-path cities, medieval architecture, and natural thermal baths.

If you’re wondering what to do in Viterbo or afraid that there are few attractions, wait a minute. What you should be concerned about is not having enough time to see all that the city and its surroundings have to offer.

Even if you just focus on thermal baths (and here you’ll find some of the best thermal baths in Lazio), you’ll need a few days to visit all of them.

Where is Viterbo, Italy?

Viterbo is located in the northern part of Lazio, a region in central Italy. Viterbo is approximately 80 km north of Rome and 250 km south of Florence.

What is Viterbo, Italy known for?

Viterbo is famous for being a charming city north of Rome. The city is fortunate to be surrounded by thermal springs, making it a perfect destination for wellness tourism during spring, autumn, and winter. Viterbo is also famous for the San Pellegrino district, which features perfectly preserved medieval architecture, such as the Palazzo dei Papi in Piazza San Lorenzo.

What is the meaning of Viterbo?

The word Viterbo is a contraction of two Latin words: “vetus” and “urbe.” Together, they meant “old city.” Tradition holds that Viterbo is actually older than Rome.

How old is Viterbo?

The city has been inhabited since the Etruscan era (9th-3rd century BC). Archaeological findings from the Villanovan era (10th century BC) have also been discovered in the area.

Is Viterbo, Italy a good place to live?

The historic center of Viterbo is small and people-friendly. Those who move here and decide to stay do so primarily because they love history and thermal baths. 

By living here, you can immerse yourself in thermal waters every day. Viterbo also offers various cultural initiatives. 

What is lacking is a vibrant expat community. Therefore, before moving here, it is advisable to have a good command of the Italian language.


With my tips on the 20-plus interesting things to do in Viterbo, I am sure I have convinced you to visit this city.
To fully breathe in the atmosphere of this beautiful and undiscovered Italian city you need time. Dedicate at least two days to it.
One day you can relax by taking long baths in the sulfurous, healing thermal water (and long naps by the pool).
On the second day, when you feel rejuvenated, devote it to exploring the old town with its museums and succulent restaurants.
Speaking of museums, if you’re short on time, definitely visit these two:

  • Palazzo dei Priori
  • National Etruscan Museum in Rocca Albornoz

Further readings:

The Most Picturesque Towns to Visit near Rome

Best Day Trips from Rome by Train

20 Best Weekend Trips from Rome