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The city that was the birthplace of two popes

  • Discover Gallese

    Gallese is a small village surrounded by the green hills of Tuscia, 30 km from Viterbo.

    Around it a variety of different environments dominates: it goes from the ravines of the hills, to end up with the countryside and the mountains, among which the Soratte rises majestically.

    In this landscape rich in diversity Gallese stands with its Ducal Palace, the medieval towers, the Cathedral and ancient Walls. On the evening of each 7 August, Gallese is turned in the center of a spectacular Bengalata: a shower of colored fireworks coming down directly from the walls. Gallese is a town rich in history, as witnessed by the numerous buildings and palaces in the old part of the town.

    It also offers many cultural and entrataining events, among which the Feast of Threshing and the Festival of sausage and of the lean pastarelle. And much more...

  • What to see in Gallese

  • Video of Gallese

  • History of Gallese

    The historic center of Gallese is located on a plateau bordered by two rivers. The human presence in the area dates back even to the Paleolithic, as documented by various archaeological finds near the Tiber.

    With the Faliscan civilization, contemporary to the Etruscan one, it reached the height advantage of the connection to the Tiber River and to the ancient wood and metal roads.

    Around the XI century A.C. the people who lived in the area decided to settle down on a tufa plateau, the place where today the old city center stands.

    In the third century A.C. because of the Roman presence in the territory, the hill town was abandoned in favor of a settlement in the plains, and then the population went back again to the mountain. After the Roman Empire in fact, the citizens, because of the many barbarian invasions, moved in the ancient Byzantine village to build a new city defense. Thus it was born around the Rock of Gallese, the new village, which developed both inside and outside the town walls.

    The Christian faith was very important for the community of Gallese, as proven by numerous churches and the fact that the town was the birthplace of two Popes: Marino I and Romano I.

    Between the sixth and seventh century P.C. Gallese became a noble fiefdom in which several families, including the Spinelli, the Colonna, the Orsini, Borgia and Della Rovere alternated each other. In these centuries extensions and features to the castle and the walls were executed. In particular the main gate was built, today the only access to the city.

    In addition to the works carried out over the castle, in the sixteenth century several palaces were built and in the eighteenth centurie a new cathedral was erected.

    Finally, after the French occupation and the Roman Republic, also Gallese, like many other towns in Italy, was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.

  • Events Gallese

    • Sausage and lean pastarelle Fest: on late September performances by street artists and entertainment for children and adults are organized. In this occasion you can taste delicious sausages and many typical local dishes.
    • Oil and wine festival: the event takes place in late November and has as its protagonist the oil, which can be tasted along with wine and many other fantastic local products.
    • Threshing Festival: is celebrated on the frist days July. This festival was created to remember the importance of this activity. During the event there is an exhibition of vintage farm machines and food stalls with typical products of the time.
    • Living Nativity: during the holiday season a solemn representation of the Nativity takes place, with many characters and suggestive settings.
    • San Famiano and the parade: celebration for the saint and parade full of extras. Framed by many events, musical and folklore, including the Bengalata: an impressive fireworks display set along the crenellated walls of Gallese.

    Scopri gli eventi in corso

  • Typical Products of Gallese

    • Cereals: production of cereals, rich in nutritive properties among which we find spelled and barley in particular, but not only.
    • Wine: DOC and IGP red and white, match perfectly with the typical local dishes and desserts.
    • Oil: extra virgin olive oil with a strong flavor but with a slight bitter aftertaste, well mixed with the fruity taste of freshly squeezed olives.