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Bolsena

The area of the City of the Eucharistic Miracle was already inhabited during the Bronze Age, as we know from the evidence returned from the lake about the presence of late Villanovan settlements. In all probability the proximity of the commercial city of Velzna, known to the Romans as Volsinii (present-day Orvieto), had determined the development of the area. The destruction of the important center by the Republic, in the course of its northward expansion and as a result of resistance from the Etruscans, led to the founding of a new settlement in 264 B.C. to which the Romans gave, perhaps unimaginatively, the name Volsinii Novi.

The original Bolsena was located slightly higher than it is today, as evidenced by the remains of ancient roads and buildings of various kinds found in the municipal area.
Its proximity to a lake, as well as its being built on a consular road, the Via Cassia, had determined its foundation but also exposed it to the expansionist aims of the enemies of the Empire, precisely because of its ideal strategic position. This is the reason for the multiple barbarian invasions, culminating in the period of Lombard domination (the famous Ostrogoth queen Amalasunta found her death on Martana Island itself).
With the subsequent development of trade along the Via Francigena, the city once again acquired vitality, returning to the center of political struggles, this time between the Orvietani Monaldeschi della Cervara, in whose hands it remained for almost two centuries albeit with ups and downs, and the Church, which definitively acquired ownership in the second half of the fifteenth century.
In the following centuries the government of the city was entrusted to important cardinals, of whom at least one reached the papal throne: cardinal Giovanni de Medici, the future Leone X. It then passed into the hands of the Cozza family, which retained power for a long time, including during French rule, even succeeding in having the town restored to city status by Pope Leone6 XII in 1828.
During the Risorgimento it followed the fate of the entire area, being annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1870.
Starting in 1927 it was reincorporated within the province of Viterbo, which gave it a long uninterrupted period of tranquility, except of course the Second World War. Bolsena has made the most of the peace, devoting itself to the development of facilities for tourist accommodation that have earned it several awards, such as the Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club.

Places to visit

Archaeological zone of Poggio Moscini

Archaeological zone of Poggio Moscini

Just outside Bolsena, thanks to excavations by the French School of Rome, an ancient Roman city, Volsinii, has emerged from the mists of time; for about six centuries it was an important mercantile center, thanks to its proximity to the Via Cassia. The forum, a...

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The Thrown Stones

The Thrown Stones

Nature is an inexhaustible source of oddities with which she constantly amazes us: the "thrown stones" are a splendid, perfect example of this. It is a geosite, a wall formed by prisms of basaltic rock, which came into being as a result of the sudden cooling of...

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Hydrangea Gardens

Hydrangea Gardens

due to a botanical experiment in the city, a fertile place because of the volcanic nature of the soil, miles of gardens laden with beautiful hydrangeas were planted during the just ended century. The entire city has been colonized by these colorful flowers, found in...

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Colasanti Avenue

Colasanti Avenue

along a majestic 500-meter avenue, 66 sycamore trees and 4 chestnuts accompany all those who want to reach the lakefront from the center of Bolsena. A true monumental work commissioned by the municipality in the second half of the 19th century, to date it counts as...

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Turona Nature Park

Turona Nature Park

A short distance from Bolsena, a peaceful stroll in the purest nature of Turona Park allows all the stress of city life to evaporate. Full of lush vegetation, thriving wildlife and no less than two streams that go on to form fascinating little waterfalls, the park...

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Catacombs

Catacombs

starting from the Grotto of St. Cristina, a mysterious path full of fascination begins to the origins of Christianity. More than 1,600 burials have entrusted the earth with the testimony of how the Christian faith was present on the shores of Lake Bolsena since its...

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Basilica di Santa Cristina

Basilica di Santa Cristina

The Basilica has the peculiarity of being developed on the exact spot where the Christian martyr had found burial. The structure of the complex consists of four distinct buildings leaning against each other: the three-nave Latin cross church, inside which the body of...

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Quartiere del Castello

Quartiere del Castello

in the upper part of the city, walking along the wonderful Via delle Piagge is the medieval village, also known as the Quartiere del Castello, because it is dominated by it. It still retains its mysterious medieval appearance and boasts the primacy of being the oldest...

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Fountain of St. Rocco

Fountain of St. Rocco

The fountain's current appearance differs from the one it had when it healed a sore on St. Rocco's foot, which had tormented him during his pilgrimage on the Via Francigena. Located between Porta San Giovanni and Porta San Francesco, in the then heart of the lake...

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Palazzo Monaldeschi della Cervara

Palazzo Monaldeschi della Cervara

Adjacent to the more famous Castle, it has been used by the authorities as a tourist reception point. Inside you can admire the permanent display of the delicate and elaborate lacework for which Bolsena's lacemakers are famous throughout the peninsula, as well as the...

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Castello Monaldeschi della Cervara

Castello Monaldeschi della Cervara

also known as the Rocca Monaldeschi, its construction took place in the late 13th century at the behest of the Orvieto authorities, to fortify the area then under their control. Over the next two centuries it alternated moments of splendor with others of neglect,...

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