Romantic destination on Lake Bolsena: Montefiascone (Viterbo)
Montefiascone (Viterbo, Lazio region) is a Medieval village perfect for a romantic holiday, thanks to the view that you can enjoy from the top. Perched on the Volsini Hills, it offers the most beautiful view of Bolsena Lake and all Northen Lazio region. The lake is the largest volcanic origin lake in Europe, originated by the collapse of the Vulsinio volcano. One of its special features is the “tidal wave”, that crashes violently on the shore and that you can see mostly when the lake is quiet.
Montefiascone settlement goes back to the barbarian invasions when the inhabitants of the valley fled to the hills. In the Medieval time Montefiascone with its Castle became part of the church’s property and a strategic point of defense of the Vatican’s army. In 1369 Pope Urban V granted Montefiascone the rank of City and diocese. Many popes, governors and artists lived in the Castle since then.
In Montefiascone there is one of the most unusual buildings we have ever seen, the San Flaviano church, built at the turn of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and formed by two overlapping floors. The lower part is a mixture of styles, due to the various peoples who crossed the Via Francigena to reach Roma from Central Europe. These are two real churches overlapped and oriented in the opposite direction to one another. The Cathedral of Santa Margherita, instead, has an huge dome of the seventeenth century, second in size only to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Montefiascone has a good balance of history, culture and romance and is a little less than 20 km from Viterbo, the stone city with magical Medieval atmosphere, famous for its thermal baths. And if you love wine, we recommend you a toast with the famous wine of Montefiascone: the Est! Est!! Est!!! (Latin). It said that the butler Martino, following the German bishop Johannes Defuk, was used to stop to taste the wine and report to the bishop that the wine was good writing the word “est” (i.e. “There is”) near the door. In Montefiascone the wine was so good that Martin wrote Est! Est!! Est !!!, from which the wine’s name originated.