Wander along storybook medieval streets lined with palaces, pizzerias and taverns to experience the captivating charm of an Italian hill town.
Vitorchiano is one of a collection of atmospheric hill towns that you can visit while touring Italy’s Viterbo province. The town sits majestically atop a cliff and in the shadow of the forest-clad slopes of Monte Cimino. Founded by the Etruscans and later ruled by the Romans, today Vitorchiano offers medieval architecture, welcoming restaurants and sweeping views.
Much of Vitorchiano’s appeal lies amid the walled and unspoiled historic district situated at the northern edge of the town. This compact area is ideal to explore on foot and be transported back to a bygone era. Gaze up at grand palaces such as the Renaissance-style Palazzo Comunale. Visit the Church of Saint Mary and the 15th-century St. Agnes Convent. Look for a fountain decorated with carved symbols of the Four Evangelists.
Note how the historic quarter forms a triangular shape and is protected on either side by two deep ravines. Step outside the defensive walls to find terraces, which afford uninterrupted views of the ravines, rolling hills and thick woodland.
Scattered around the streets of the medieval quarter and the southern section of the town are a collection of bars, pizzerias and trattorias. Sample locally produced cheeses, salami and wines. Browse the boutiques and handicraft and souvenir shops set along the streets that fan out from Piazzale Umberto I.
Vitorchiano is about 5 miles (8.5 kilometers) east of Viterbo, the provincial capital, and 60 miles (97 kilometers) north from Rome. Popular among day trippers, the town also has a good selection of guesthouses and hotels for those that wish to stay overnight.
The Viterbo province is an excellent destination for cycling and driving. Rent a bike or car and tour the appealing towns within close proximity to Vitorchiano. Bomarzo, Orte and Soriano nel Cimino are all less than a 30-minute drive away. Alternatively, go fishing, kayaking and swimming at Lake Bolsena.