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Castel Sant'Elia

The 15 Churches' village

  • Discover Castel Sant'Elia

    Castel Sant'Elia is a town with more than 2500 inhabitants and is about 33 Km from the chief town Viterbo.


    The town is situated on the eastern ridge of Suppetonia Valley, a gorge carved by the Fosso of the Castle Bridge. The town's name seems to derive from "Castrum" (Castle, in fact) in reference to the presence of a fortress in the area, and "Sant Elia," the name of the saint to whom the Basilica of the village is dedicated .


    The surrounding area is rich in vegetation and water, a characteristic that has allowed a great development of agriculture since ancient times. One of the most charming places to visit is the Rocky Church of San Leonardo, built inside a ridge of Tufo, immediately below the old town.


    Something special is also the Shrine of St. Maria “ad Rupes”, connected to the surface by 144 steps carved by hand by the hermit Franciscan Fra Giuseppe Andrea Rodio.

  • What to see in Castel Sant'Elia

  • History of Castel Sant'Elia

    Nestled in the charming Suppentonia Valley, Castel Sant'Elia is located halfway between Rome and Viterbo.

    The town, with an ancient history, shows signs of the passage of Falisca population as well as the Etruscan one, of which a track is left via the famous "Pagus".

    On top of some of these "pagis" medieval villages with protective walls and towers have sprung, still visible at present.

    Castel Sant'Elia owes its birth to Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604) and the town is remembered for the meeting between the Pope and the Queen of the Lombards Teodolinda, as well as for the 15 churches mainly dedicated to the Madonna.

    After a long period of dependence on the Church, the town became a feud and saw the succession of many families, including the Colonna, the Orsini and the Farnese. The latter is responsible for many innovations in the legal and administrative cooperation and in the construction of the new castle.

    In 1663 the town again underwent the papal rule following the sale by the Farnese to Pope Innocent X.

    In 1700 the town was extended beyond the Castello Farnese, thanks to the construction of the village, until in the late eighteenth century its possession passed to the Marquis Lezzani.

  • Events Castel Sant'Elia

    • Beer Festival: At August rivers of beer invade the streets of Castel Sant'Elia in the occasion of the traditional Beer Festival. There will also be food stalls with meat, noodles and fries, all in live music company.
    • Festa del Borgo: Among the last weekend of June and and the frist one of July there is a special Feast dedicated to the village, with a spectacular gathering of historical parades, the opening of historic taverns and popular games to which everyone is invited.
    • Marathon of the three municipalities: in late January a funny marathon is organized, surrounded by a setting which has as its background the Cimini Mountains and Mount Soratte.
    • Feast for Sant'Antonio Abate: in mid-January the Saint's celebrations are held, with a solemn Mass, the salsicciata and the tasting of typical products.
    • Castellese Carnival: in late January during the carnival there is a parade, dancing masked groups and lots of music.
    • Historical Medieval Parade: this event takes place in late June and on this occasion shows and medieval re-enactments are organized, but there are also food stalls and much more.

    Scopri gli eventi in corso

  • Typical Products of Castel Sant'Elia

    • Cheeses: fresh or seasoned, from sheep or cow's milk, many delicious cheeses are produced in Castel Sant'Elia.
    • Extra virgin olive oil: oil of high quality, intensely color and very fragrant, typical of the area. Ideal for sauces, soups and bruschettas.