Bolsena city guide

Bolsena is a small town n the northern part of the province of Viterbo. Its exact location is at the north-eastern shore of the lake of the same name, in the foothills of the Monti Vlsinii.

Bolsena city guide

To get to Bolsena by car from Viterbo you take the Via Cassia in northern direction.

There have been settlements in the area since the 3rd century BC and Bolsena was one of the most important Etruscan villages.

Later it became a Roman town and then, after a number of Lumbard invasions, the community moved to the top of the hill (where nowadays the medieval district of Castello is located).

During the Renaissance period several Popes had residencies in Bolsena.

Excavations have brought to light a forum, surrounded by shops, a big basilica and a number of private houses with intricate floor mosaics and interesting wall-paintings.

Tourist Attractions Bolsena

  • The Collegiate Church of Santa Cristina is dedicated to the patron saint of the city. Its present aspect is a result of restorations by order of cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici in the late 15th century. In the year 1263 the miracle of the Eucharist took place inside the church. While mass was being celebrated, the sacramental bread started bleeding. This induced Pope Urban IV to turn the Corpus Domini celebration into a catholic feast.
  • The San Rocco Fountain was likewise commissioned by the cardinal.
  • The Monaldeschi Castle (Rocca Monaldeschi) was built between the 12th and 14th centuries. The Monaldeschi della Cervara were given the bishopric of Bolsena in 1398 and it became Papal property again in 1451.
  • The Museo Territoriale del Lago di Bolsena is located inside the castle.

Tourist Attractions near Bolsena

  • In the area immediately around the city numerous necropolises have been found, dating from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD.
  • The Lago di Bolsena is Europe’s biggest volcanic lake.

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